It is with great sadness and disappointment that a decision has been reached to cancel AUSTimber2020/21.
Like many events over the past 18 months, Austimber has faced numerous challenges, including two reschedules in 2020 resulting from the Black Summer Bushfires and then at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past few months, Austimber recommenced planning, and significant preparation work has taken place for the November show. However, over the past weeks, we have seen the continual worsening COVID-19 situation from the Delta strain and government lockdown measures across Australia which demonstrates the unpredictability of delivering an event in this environment.
Recently some exhibitors communicated their concerns and provided notification of their intent to change their exhibiting arrangements at the AUSTimber 2020/21 show in November, including no live demonstrations occurring during the show and significantly limiting their overall participation. The reasons cited included additional costs, planning and logistics required amid growing concerns of the pandemic and the associated restrictions across Australia.
The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone delivering and attending the AUSTimber show have always been paramount. Many options have been assessed on how the event could still be delivered and have been exhausted—particularly recognising the important contribution AUSTimber makes to the industry and the Gippsland region, impacted first by bushfires and now by the pandemic.
Unfortunately, the compounding costs of deferring the show on two prior occasions combined with the continued uncertain outlook resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have meant it is not financially feasible or possible to reschedule the show again, and therefore the show must be cancelled.