The sporting industry in Australia which has been on its knees from the shocks of COVID-19 will soon rise again as the New South Wales [NSW] Government has announced a series of new measures that will allow major regional events to go ahead in early 2021.
Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro said planning is underway to allow up to 5,000 people at any given time to attend regional agricultural shows in the new calendar year.
This will start with the Bowral Show on 9 January 2021, while the government is also exploring options for the 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show.
“This is really exciting news for regional communities because country shows play a vital role in promoting agriculture and injecting money into local economies,” said Barilaro.
“Country shows are a highlight of the regional events calendar, boost business and are an opportunity for farmers to showcase their produce and livestock.”
COVID-safe measures at these events will include social distancing at venues, controlled access at entry points throughout the show to minimise crowding, maximum capacity limits and the one person per four square metre rule.
Organisers will also be encouraged to use the Service NSW COVID Safe QR codes to manage crowd numbers and enable contact tracing.
Barilaro said the NSW Government is dedicated to making country shows the “hallmark of the regional events calendar” given it has committed $35 million to community showground upgrades.
Meanwhile, the state government is also supporting the return of live music, backing two major concerts that will attract some 12,000 in-person attendees later this month.
The new events, Greatest Southern Nights, will take place at Qudos Bank Arena on 28 November and 5 December, with each concert hosting more than 6,000 fans in a fully seated, COVID-safe setting.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the events aligned with the NSW Government’s ambition to kick start the state’s economic recovery.
“NSW has led Australia in reigniting the live music industry through Great Southern Nights, and now we are excited to announce these landmark concerts that will be the hottest tickets in the country,” he said.
“The NSW Government is proud to be getting artists, roadies, venues, hospitality staff and tourism businesses back to work and we hope this heralds the safe return of major indoor arena events.”