The delay of Phase 5 easing of restrictions has hit close to home, with the Baldivis Country Fair cancelled.
The Baldivis Primary School P&C, which runs the fair, announced the decision last week on the same day Premier Mark McGowan announced Phase 4 had been extended for at least two months, to October 23, and that the 2020 Perth Royal Show would not go ahead.
The country fair had 12,000 people come through the gates last year and was this year expected to be held on November 7, with a COVID-safe plan prepared.
P&C president Renae Taylor said the P&C would contact all vendors who were booked to arrange refunds.
Mrs Taylor said the delay of Phase 5 to two weeks before the event meant there was “too much of a risk financially” for the committee and for all of the vendors who would have had to prepare.
“The fair has been on for 44 uninterrupted years but there are serious health implications for our volunteers and the wider community,” she said.
“Bigger events than ours have been cancelled and we felt we needed to follow suit, so the decision was made to cancel.”
Mrs Taylor said the fair was the biggest event of the year for the school’s P&C, with funds raised going towards the school.
“The community benefit hugely from the event as the fair accommodates over 100 market stalls and food vendors, allowing local small businesses and not-for-profit organisations an opportunity to showcase their products,” she said.
Mrs Taylor said the P&C had already arranged to increase the space between stalls and seats and bring in additional cleaning procedures and hand sanitising stations.
The Fair was also set to go ahead without a large stage area to allow for extra seating.
Mrs Taylor said the community’s health was “paramount” and the fair would be “back bigger and better next year”.
“The committee will be meeting in a few weeks to discuss alternative arrangements for a fundraiser for the school,” she said.
Mrs Taylor said they hoped to receive support from local businesses to have a large raffle.
Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby praised “the hard-working team” behind the Fair and said the P&C had “made the right call”.
“It is appropriate and cautious,” Mr Whitby said.
“The decision follows the WA Chief Health Officer’s advice not to go ahead with this year’s Perth Royal Show.
“While we still have some of the most relaxed conditions in Australia, it’s disappointing that local kids and families won’t get to enjoy the fair or the show this year.
“I’m hoping next year’s fair will be a ripper and bigger and better than ever before.”