The 2021 National is scheduled to be held at the Ipswich Showgrounds from July 23-25. Due to the lack of a hosting bid from a club, the show will be run by a committee of members on behalf of ANPA.
At the 2020 AGM held via ZOOM it was decided to hold off making a decision on proceeding with the show until February 1, based on the best information available at the time regards border closures due to COVID 19, the COVID infection trends in general and the distribution and effectiveness of vaccines for the virus.
More recently the ANPA Committee agreed to push the decision date to April 1 in the hope there would be more clarity around those issues by then.
This would also allow sufficient time to send out schedules and proceed with plans for the pavilion at Ipswich. It should be noted that ANPA does not have to pay the final rental instalment of $7500 until early July. The show society has been holding our deposit of $2500 for a year due to the postponement of the 2020 show.
Everyone will be aware of the unpredictability of the COVID situation, just recently we have seen issues in Western Australia, in parts of Sydney and at the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne. While Australia is currently clear, it seems a bit like the whack-a-mole game where just when you get it sorted somewhere it pops up somewhere else.
It appears this will be the case until a successful national vaccination program is concluded.
Then there are issues such as restrictions on numbers of people at a venue, whether masks are going to be mandatory, whether people attending must have been vaccinated or tested, how far apart people are supposed to keep etc.
And these can come from as low on the hierarchy as the showground society or as high as the State Government.
Not to mention what would happen if the government locked down the Queensland border DURING the show, leaving interstate visitors either stranded for an indefinite period or forced into a mad dash potentially across two borders for Victorians or West Aussies in a severe outbreak.
We know everyone wants a National, given we were forced to cancel in 2017 and 2018 due to Rota and then last year due to COVID.
People rightly wonder why they breed show birds if they can’t show them.
But due to the unique situation in which we find ourselves, it has to be up to all the members to provide their opinion to their State representatives ahead of the April 1 decision.
There seem to be two choices.
1. We proceed despite any closures or COVID related issues and hope for the best.
2. We cancel due to the ongoing uncertainty and look at options to see us through to 2022 when the situation is likely to be more stable.
But if anyone has any other ideas now is the time to present them. I don’t see waiting until the last minute as feasible in organisational terms.
It appears fairly likely that club and State-based shows will be able to proceed in 2021. Some are already being announced.
Maybe ANPA could provide each affiliated club with a grant (to be determined) to help towards the running of a sponsored show, payable after the conclusion of the event in case of last-minute cancellations.
Perhaps an ANPA Champion of Show and other major awards could be funded. Any other suggestions would be more than welcomed.
PLEASE make your views known so the committee can gauge the feeling ahead of the April 1 vote.