Organisers of the Norco PRIMEX Field Days have decided for the first time in its 36 year history, not to proceed with the 2020 event due to COVID-19, a decision ultimately forced by the recent spread of the virus throughout Victoria.
Norco PRIMEX Field Days Manager Bruce Wright said there were many more uncertainties generated in the past few weeks, since the latest outbreak appeared.
Mr Wright said preparations for the event, planned for September 10-12, were focused on monitoring the advice from the NSW Government and NSW Health.
He said the priority had always been to ensure the health and safety of exhibitors and those attending.
“The circumstances involved have now made this decision seemingly easy,” Mr Wright said.
“However, the complexities to get here have been extraordinary. We were determined to pursue every means possible to investigate any and every opportunity, remembering that it was only a few weeks ago we were seeing a positive easing of restrictions.
“The fluidness and volatility we are now facing has left us devasted for the region, the charities which rely on Primex to fundraise and support our communities, and the thousands of local businesses who receive much-needed revenue from the staging of the event.”
Norco PRIMEX has been working closely with its local government authority, the Richmond Valley Council.
The council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said Council commended Mr Wright and his PRIMEX team for their efforts, especially in preparing a COVID-19 safety plan.
“Richmond Valley Council values the place PRIMEX has on our annual event calendar, as the local economic stimulus from the event is critical for many local and regional businesses,” he said.
Mr Macdonald said council would ‘leave no stone unturned’ to ensure the 2021 event was a success.
Mr Wright said PRIMEX Field Days generated an estimated 110 jobs, provided an immediate injection of more than $7million into the local economy, and more than $40 million in sales were generated from the event annually.
He said there were significant responsibilities agricultural field days such as PRIMEX held in offering an event which could support the region’s rural and regional communities, especially since those same communities had been ravaged by flood, drought, fires and now COVID-19.
“With both exhibitors and visitors travelling from throughout Australia to attend Norco PRIMEX Field Days, border closures and strengthening restrictions would severely affect the content and programs presented,” Mr Wright said.
“Since March, we have been investigating all scenarios to try and deliver the 2020 event, however, given COVID-19’s current escalation today’s announcement is the most responsible course of action we can take to abide by public health orders and protect our exhibitors’ and attendees’ health and wellbeing.”
Mr Wright said he and his team were in a much stronger position to hold Norco PRIMEX Field Days 2021, scheduled for May 20-22.
“While we have continued to work with government authorities to ensure we can deliver a safe and successful field days, we are well prepared for 2021 with a COVID-19 safety plan and risk management framework which will enable us to build an even bigger, safer and more dynamic event next year,” he said.
“We wish to thank everyone for their support, patience and understanding while we considered all factors to reach this decision.
“Having communicated with all our exhibitors, including a recent survey, we are now reviewing the responses and position of these businesses, while continuing to work in partnership with all levels of government, to be in a better position to support the region.
“COVID-19 has decimated the 2020 Australian agricultural field days calendar and we need the government to consider the dynamics of our outdoor essential service events.”
Mr Wright said event information, exhibitor profiles, updates and giveaways would be available through the PRIMEX networker newsletter, which can be accessed by registering on the PRIMEX website.
For more information:
Norco PRIMEX Manager
Bruce Wright – Ph: 0411 740 374