Calliope Rodeo Committee publicity and promotions Debbie Parr and president Gary Ashe
Calliope Rodeo Committee publicity and promotions Debbie Parr and president Gary Ashe

‘Too much, too risky’: COVID-19 cancels major Calliope event

CALLIOPE'S biggest community event has bitten the dust as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Calliope Rodeo Committee has cancelled its annual September rodeo after regulations from Queensland Health made running this year's rodeo "impossible".

Calliope Rodeo Committee president Gary Ashe said there was too much risk involved with the restrictions in place.

"We figured out with the square metres per person to run the Friday and Saturday night we couldn't have had enough people here to break even," Mr Ashe said.

"With all the health department laws its just too much insecurity."

Publicity and promotions' Debbie Parr said the risk of being fined was "too great".

"The requirements were really big, and the risk of fines were just too great," Ms Parr said.

"We just decided that as a non-for-profit event, we just can't afford to do that."

The event will mark another rodeo that has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

"Most other rodeos had been cancelled, Warwick and a few of the other big ones, they all seem to have cancelled in the last few weeks," Mr Ashe said.

"We would have been the first ones running but when we dug into it, it was too much and too risky."

The not-for-profit event raises money for the community, with the event raising $180,000 for the community last year.

The rodeo has helped numerous causes, with its latest donation being to Dylan Smith, who lost his house in fire in the Boyne Valley at the weekend.

The committee presented him a $500 cheque to go towards rebuilding his life.

"It's not only the rodeo community who misses out but other clubs as well," Ms Parr said.

"The community misses out on their entertainment as well."

The club will instead focus on next year's Australia Day rodeo, where they intend to be bigger and better than ever.

Next year's Australia Day event is expected to be held on January 22-23.

Anyone interested in sponsoring next year's event is urged to contact the Calliope Rodeo's Facebook page.


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