‘Too big a risk’ Perth Royal Show cancelled over second wave fears

The Perth Royal Show has been cancelled over fears it could spark a second wave of Covid-19 in WA.

The Royal Agricultural Society WA made the decision after updated advice about the risks posed by the event from Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson, who said the Royal Show presented “unique challenges”.

“I didn’t enjoy making this decision but the health advice was very, very clear that the risk was too great,” said Premier Mark McGowan.

“The show has a number of high frequency contact surfaces that would pose too big a risk.

“If COVID were present at the show… it would lead to a significant outbreak (and) would result in spread of coronavirus like we haven’t seen before in WA.

“It is a serious risk and one WA does not need to take.”

McGowan said the move to phase five restrictions would now be pushed back until October 24.

RASWA chief executive Peter Cooper said they had worked with the government to develop a “safe event”.

“However, with the continuing outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Eastern States and the re-emergence of the virus in New Zealand, it has become increasingly clear that we cannot proceed while simultaneously guaranteeing the safety of the public,” he said.

“While there will be tough decisions to be made over the next few months, one thing is certain.

“The Perth Royal Show will be back and we look forward to opening our gates to the thousands of showgoers, from across WA, very soon.”

McGowan said they will work with the organisers to make sure it returns in 2021.

“We put $2.1 million towards the Royal Show back in early July,” he said. “Obviously that money is sitting there. We’ll make sure that we work with the Royal Show to make sure they and we mitigate any costs involved.”