Airshow flies west

Today’s cancellation of the Australian International Airshow at Avalon marks the latest major event lost in Victoria in 2020-21, after already being postponed from March to November 2021 earlier this year.

As the announcement by Avalon Airshow CEO Ian Honnery notes, the cancellation is due to the unpredictable environment and risk of uncertainty.

This unpredictability and uncertainty is a direct consequence of the Andrews Labor Government’s erratic response to COVID-19, where just 24 hours after bragging about a zero-case day, the state was completely shut down on four hours’ notice.

The cancellation of the Avalon Airshow follows last week’s announcement that the March 2022 Tyabb Airshow, second in size only to Avalon, was also being cancelled.

These cancellations highlight the difficulty of planning and making commitments in an uncertain and unpredictable environment where state-wide lockdowns can be triggered on just four hours’ notice.  

The risk is compounded by the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to ensure cancellation insurance is made available to the organisers of Victoria’s major events who have now suffered 18 months of cancellations and disruptions.

Major events are vital to Victoria’s economy and our confidence and only the Liberal Nationals have put forward a positive plan which includes rapid testing, allowing for an added level of security to get crowds together in a COVID-safe manner.

Daniel Andrews and Labor are guilty of having no plan for the events sector and it’s putting the state’s economic recovery at risk that the Victorian people have worked so hard to earn.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Aviation, Gordon Rich-Phillips:

“Airshows are enormously complex and expensive events to stage.

“It is now just too risky to even try and run these events when the government is willing to lockdown the whole state on four hours’ notice, a day after bragging about zero-cases.

“Labor must put forward a plan that will give event organisers certainty and rapid testing has to be a key part of that plan.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:

“This cancellation follows hot on the heels of the AFL Grand Final parade.

“Last week it was the Royal Melbourne Show for the second year running, last month the Grand Prix.

“Events like this put Victoria on the national and international stage. The Andrews Labor Government must show us the pathway out of COVID – we need to see their plan.”

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