It's a showdown
A SHOWDOWN is looming that could see Rockhampton and Yeppoon shows taking place on the same dates next year.
The Rockhampton Regional Council, which runs the Rockhampton Show, looks likely to approve a request from the Showmen's Guild of Australasia to switch frommid-week to the Queen's Birthday long weekend.
But that's when the Yeppoon Show is traditionally held and the Yeppoon Show Society is in no mood to give ground.
Brian Dorey, the Yeppoon Show president, reacted angrily yesterday to the suggestion that it should end 57 years of tradition to accommodate Rockhampton and said he was appalled at the lack of respect being shown.
“Yeppoon Show Society has no intention to declare war on Rockhampton over this issue as it has no problem yet with viability. However, Rockhampton Show has suffered from a changing economy and trends in entertainment for the past 20 years when the show slid into debt and was bailed out by the council.”
He said the society was prepared to take legal action to protect its position.
But Cr Graeme Brady, chairman of the Rockhampton Show Committee, said yesterday the proposal to switch dates had not come from him or his organisation, but from owners of the rides and sideshows.
“They're telling us it's not viable as a mid-week show anymore,” he said.
He told his colleagues in the council chamber he had no doubt the showmen would carry out a threat to stage a show of their own in Rockhampton on the weekend in question, effectively shutting down the Rockhampton Show after nearly 150 years.
Cr Bill Ludwig, who represents Yeppoon, said some in the Capricorn Coast believed it was another bullet in the back for their community.
He was accused of inappropriate conduct after telling his colleagues that the Rockhampton Show used to be held after Yeppoon's, then it moved to be before Yeppoon's and now it wanted to take Yeppoon's slot.
The council decided to defer a decision until August 3 when Yeppoon Show Society will be able to make its case.