Rockhampton Show rides in limbo after organisers' dispute
ROCKHAMPTON Show may be without rides this year as an ongoing dispute between organisers rears its head again.
Last year, the Rockhampton Show Society reached a last-minute agreement with the Showman's Guild of Australasia to lock in over $18 million worth of rides for the event.
However, the Show Society has today confirmed they are no longer working with the guild after failing to agree on several key aspects of the show.
The organisations have been in dispute over several issues, including the layout of amusements, since 2016.
Guild president Luke Hennessy told The Morning Bulletin although the partnership of more than 100 years had ended, members had been encouraged to work with the Show Society individually.
Mr Hennessy said the guild believed it would not be financially beneficial for the members if the partnership continued, but recognised the importance of the Rockhampton Show.
Last year, a rival event was promoted at Callaghan Park in the days before the Show Society and the guild reached an agreement.
Mr Hennessy would not comment on the likelihood of a similar rival event happening this year.
The Show Society is a community volunteer organisation which commenced operation of the Rockhampton Agricultural Show in late 2014 after it was relinquished from the Rockhampton Regional Council.
"The Show Society have been endeavouring to improve the show through a series of staged changes, culminating in the reinstatement of the commercial cattle competition in 2019,” a spokesperson for the society said this morning.
"In 2016 the Show Society advised the Showmen's Guild of Australasia (SGA) the location of some amusements would be changed. An alternative location of equivalent size was offered for the amusements. This was not accepted by the SGA.
"The Rockhampton Agricultural Show Society have always maintained the SGA are an integral part of Central Queensland's largest annual community event.
"In 2017 approximately 24,000 people attended the Rockhampton Agricultural Show and the Show Society hope to maintain these numbers in 2018.”