A decision has been reached to cancel AUSTimber2020/21, says the Australian Forest Contractors Association.
Like many events over the past 18 months, AUSTimber has faced numerous challenges, including two reschedules in 2020 as a result of the Black Summer Bushfires and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past few months, AUSTimber recommenced planning, and significant preparation work took place for the November 2021 show. However, over the past weeks, the worsening COVID-19 situation from the Delta strain and government lockdown measures across Australia have demonstrated the unpredictability of delivering an event in this environment, says the Association.
The reasons cited for the cancellation include additional costs, planning and logistics required amid growing concerns about the pandemic and the associated restrictions across Australia. Recently some exhibitors communicated their concerns and provided notification of their intent to change their exhibiting arrangements at the AUSTimber 2020/21 show in November, including no live demonstrations occurring during the show and significantly limiting their overall participation.
“The health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone delivering and attending the AUSTimber show have always been paramount,” says the Association. “Many options have been assessed on how the event could still be delivered and have been exhausted; particularly recognising the important contribution AUSTimber makes to the industry and the Gippsland region, impacted first by bushfires and now by the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the compounding costs of deferring the show on two prior occasions combined with the continued uncertain outlook resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have meant it is not financially feasible or possible to reschedule the show again, and therefore the show must be cancelled.”