Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Rides Face the Axe over Show Dispute; Show Society and Ride Operators Yet to Come to an Agreement Two Weeks Out

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Rides Face the Axe over Show Dispute; Show Society and Ride Operators Yet to Come to an Agreement Two Weeks Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Gately michelle.gately@capnews.com.au

THE arrival of a new $2.5 million mega-ride and $18 million worth of other equipment hinges on the outcome of negotiations between the Rockhampton Show Society and the Showman's Guild of Australasia.

Just two weeks out from the Rockhampton Show, the parties are yet to reach an agreement on which rides will be on offer at the event.

Guild president Luke Hennessy and members of the Show Society remain hopeful a positive outcome could be reached, which would see the organisation's 100-plus year partnership continue.

Working with over 300 shows nation-wide, the guild has a Memorandum of Understanding between QCAT and shows, which sets out conditions for affiliation.

The guild claims the MoU had been broken by the Show Society when they advised of last minute layout changes which could affect up to 75% of guild members at Rockhampton.

Mr Hennessy said issues were raised after the 2016 event, but committee members from each party "walked away, shaking hands, moving forward for this year".

Issues were raised in November and at Easter which Mr Hennessy believed at the time had been dealt with satisfactorily.

About three weeks ago, Mr Hennessy and two senior guild executives flew to Rockhampton for a site tour and to work on an agreement.

However, that was unsuccessful.

"It's paramount we reach an agreement with the Show Society because the show is such an important event in the Rockhampton calendar," Mr Hennessy said.

"We really, really need to reach an agreement with the Show Society, which we are still in negotiation with.

"But we can't agree to an area with a sideshow area that's going to be dysfunctional.

"To have a few changes, it seems like a really small thing, but the slight couple of changes can really affect the whole area. …

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