Harmony Day at Robelle Domain in 2018.
Harmony Day at Robelle Domain in 2018. Rob Williams

Council cancels events, refunds permits for three months

IPSWICH City Council has cancelled any events it produces and will decline permit applications that do not meet the mass-gathering restrictions set to be held over the next three months.

Harmony Day and the Planes, Trains and Autos festival have been cancelled, and the city's RSL sub-branches have been advised to call off all Anzac day commemorations.

The council will refund permit fees for events hosting more than 500 people, as well as booking fees for events scheduled to be held in council facilities up to May 31. No cancellation fee will be charged.

Ipswich City Council Interim Administrator Steve Greenwood said community safety was paramount.

"Ipswich City Council continues to follow the advice of relevant authorities on how to respond to COVID-19 and that includes not allowing gatherings of 500 people or greater," he said.

"We have already seen the cancellation of country music event CMC Rocks and we expect to see other community-run events called off or postponed in the coming weeks."

The council said it would continue to assess whether the remainder of planned events for later in the year can go ahead as the COVID-19 situation develops.

Somerset Regional Council has also put measures in place by postponing its Youth Week and school holiday events, Strictly Seniors dance classes and the Retiring Rurally information session.

"Staff are communicating closely with stakeholders involved in major events like the Somerset Art Beat Festival on 30 May and The Brisbane Airshow on 4 and 5 July and at this stage the events will progress as planned," Mayor Graeme Lehmann said.

"The Somerset Rail Trail Fun Run or Ride remains scheduled for 12 July."

Watercress Creek Olives and Limes announced its annual olive festival will also be postponed, which would have been held on April 5.

"We understand lots of our customers look forward to our festival to stock up on our delicious products, however the health and safety of our visitors and stall holders is our main priority," it said via Facebook on Monday.

"Despite this, we would hate for you to miss out on our goods so we are doing the best we can to ensure you can still get your hands on them."