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April 1, 2021
In this issue
NSW Government mandates last-minute cancellation of Byron Bay Bluesfest
Greater Brisbane lockdown to end at noon today
Interview with Paula Leishman: "Snap lockdowns don’t do us any favours"
Peak tourism body issues post-JobKeeper demands for Federal Government
Applications open in Auckland for a domestic subvention fund
MCEC turns 25: “I would like to see MCEC…really be adopted strongly as part of Melbourne at a grass roots community level”


NSW Government mandates last-minute cancellation of Byron Bay Bluesfest
 
Byron Bay Bluesfest has been cancelled a day out from its kick-off after a single case of COVID-19 local transmission was detected in the Byron region, linked to one of the two current COVID-19 clusters in Brisbane.
 
The NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told a press conference on Wednesday morning that there were concerns about the event proceeding and that he was in discussions with organisers.
 
“It’s difficult. It would have been better if the Bluesfest had been perhaps in another few months instead of right now,” Mr Hazzard said.
 
Within hours he had signed a health order cancelling the event. Bluesfest issued a statement confirming the cancellation a little after 5pm.
 
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Greater Brisbane lockdown to end at noon today
 
The snap lockdown of Brisbane will end at midday today after just one new local case was diagnosed overnight. 34,711 tests were conducted yesterday.
 
For the next two weeks, masks will remain mandatory across Queensland in most public indoor settings, service in hospitality venues will be seated only, dancing is not permitted and household guests are limited to 30.
Interview with Paula Leishman: "Snap lockdowns don’t do us any favours"
 
By Joyce DiMascio
 
Paula Leishman calls it as it is. She’s been running her business as a professional conference organiser for 21 years and has a clear handle on the current state-of-play in the business events market. Her company, Leishman Associates, is based in Tasmania and operates nationally. Her business is built on long-term repeat clients.
 
She says the long-term picture looks solid but in the short term there are still a lot of “blockers” obstructing business confidence for events.
 
“I want to present a positive picture, but we are not there yet,” she says.
 
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Peak tourism body issues post-JobKeeper demands for Federal Government
 
The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) has released a trifecta of demands for the Federal Government to speed up the recovery of the nation’s tourism industry post-JobKeeper.
 
The Council is asking for more funding to discount domestic air travel, targeted support for affected tourism businesses and acceleration of the vaccine rollout.
 
“The Morrison Government must invest more in domestic discount air seats, which are marketable to all destinations including every capital city, to bring confidence to interstate travel,” says ATIC Executive Director Simon Westaway.
 
“All capitals and our entire domestic flight network need to be eligible for discount fares through the Government’s Tourism Aviation Network Support Program to help reset our industry."
 
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Applications open in Auckland for a domestic subvention fund
 
Applications opened today for the Auckland Business Events Fund to support events held in the city until June 2024.
 
The initiative will provide funding of up to 25 percent of event budgets and aims to drive out-of-region visitation to Auckland.
 
The new funding program is part of the $50 million Regional Events Fund put in place to support domestic event attendance. Auckland and Northland have received NZ$19 million to be used across the their business events fund as well as two other programs supporting public events.
 
Applications to access the Fund will be open throughout April, August and October 2021, with submissions to be judged against economic, social and sustainability criteria.
 
“Not only will it encourage organisers to hold more business events in Auckland, but it is also a great morale boost for the sector,” said Richard Clarke, Head of Major and Business Events for Auckland Unlimited.
MCEC turns 25: “I would like to see MCEC…really be adopted strongly as part of Melbourne at a grass roots community level”
 
To mark its 25th anniversary, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is getting nostalgic with some of its Club Melbourne ambassadors, as they reflect on their roles as meeting champions for the city.
 
Up this week is Professor Susan Davis AO, Immediate Past President of The International Menopause Society, who has been an ambassador since 2015.
 
"Obviously with COVID, congress scheduling has been traumatic," she says, having led the successful bid for the 17th World Congress on Menopause which was to be held in Melbourne in 2020, then helping reschedule it to 2021 due to the pandemic, and finally securing it to take place in Melbourne in 2024.
 
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