The Northern Territory government has postponed the Alice Springs Masters Games until 2023 meaning it will be five years since the Games were last held.
Northern Territory Minister for Major Events Natasha Fyles said the decision to cancel the biennial event was driven by the continued global uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
“There’s nothing normal about what’s happening right now,” Fyles told the ABC.
“I know people want us to return to the previous normal, but we’re going to be on track for a new normal.
“If we suddenly had five of the touch football teams or people not being able to come it would really interrupt that program.”
Tourism Central Australia chief executive Danial Rochford said the cancelation was “just another nail in the coffin” for the tourism and events industry and would cost the Territory between $7 and $10 million.
“Our industry is on its knees and we’re facing down our darkest hours,” he told the ABC.
“We need more events. We need our Northern Territory government to stand up for Central Australia to mount the argument that we need more than just three major events.”