Virus cancellations across southeast Queenslad
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people will be cancelled as coronavirus causes an unprecedented national crisis and southeast Queensland events are pulling the plug already.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brendan Murphy urged the extraordinary action to combat the coronavirus crisis at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney today.
Events organised by community groups, sports, concerts, businesses and restaurants across the southeast have been cancelled, postponed or have increased hygiene measures before the ban takes place from Monday.
Here are some of the events that have already been cancelled in southeast Queensland.
CANCELLED EVENTS IN SOUTHEAST QLD
EAT STREET NORTH SHORE
Eat Street North Shore will close temporarily after this Saturday night, March 14, and will only reopen when it has the all-clear to do so.
ST PATRICK'S DAY PARADE
Brisbane City Council has advised the St Patrick's Day parade, which was to occur on Saturday 14 March, has been cancelled.
QPAC CANCELS ALL EVENTS
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre has announced it is cancelling all performances from Friday, March 13. All affected audience members will be contacted for full refunds in the coming days.
PANIYIRI FESTIVAL OFF
Coronavirus has taken down the Paniyiri Festival. In a shock move organisers announced they were cancelling the Greek celebration to be held on May 23-24. Paniyiri is Australia's longest-running Greek festival and the state's largest cultural festival attracting more than 60,000 people to Musgrave Park each year. READ MORE
CMC Rocks has confirmed that the much-anticipated festival at Willowbank will be postponed until later this year, following a press conference by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The announcement comes after the advice that mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be banned from Monday, March 16 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE
PIXIES POSTPONE CONCERTS
US rock icons Pixies have postponed the remaining dates of their Australian tour over coronavirus fears.
The band were due to perform in Brisbane on Thursday and Friday - and were set for two open-air concerts at the Sydney Opera House forecourt over the weekend. They had already performed in Melbourne earlier this week.
A statement from the band released today reads:
"Out of caution for current public health concerns, Pixies are postponing the remaining Australian shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. This was an extremely difficult decision, but the wellbeing of our fans is always our top priority. Rescheduled dates for all of these shows will be announced soon. We ask that our fans retain their tickets as they will be honoured on the new dates. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to returning to Australia." READ MORE
JIMMY EAT WORLD
Thu 19 Mar, 2020 | The Tivoli, Brisbane
Tue 17 Mar, 2020 | The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane
Mon 23 Mar, 2020 | The Old Museum, Brisbane
QUEENSLAND BALLET POSTPONES ANNIVERSARY GALA
Queensland Ballet has announced it will postpone performances for its 60th Anniversary Gala that were to be held from March 20-28.
In a statement, it said it would finalise new dates for the celebration for later in the year by next week. Patrons will be able to receive a refund if they are unable to attend the rescheduled performances.
The organisation said it was also reviewing future performances, including its Swan Lake season in Melbourne and its young artists' tour of Europe, with updates to come once there is more information available.
WIGGLES CONCERT IN DOUBT
The Queensland leg of a tour by iconic children's band The Wiggles is now in doubt after all remaining Sydney shows were cancelled today due to coronavirus concerns.
The group was due to arrive in Queensland next month for an extensive tour around the southeast including Brisbane, Logan, the Gold Coast and the Redlands.
The group said on its Facebook page "As of today we are only postponing the Sydney leg of the tour however we are closely monitoring the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and advice provided by the Australian Government Department of Health".
Thousands of Australian students will have their medical dream put on hold with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) cancelling the March sitting of the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT) just eight days out from the test.
In an email to registered students, ACER said announced that GAMSAT would be cancelled due to "COVID-19... evolving at a rapid pace".
"It would not be possible to proceed with the GAMSAT exam as currently scheduled," the email said.
The Prime Minister's ban on non-essential gatherings of over 500 people was cited as the reason for cancellation.
GAMSAT offers a pathway to medical studies - including Bachelors of medicine, physiotherapy and dentistry - for students who were not admitted directly out of high school.
The test is held only twice each year, in March and September, with the March often being the final chance for students to gain admission to medical programs for the next calendar year.
In its email, ACER said that it would review possible alternatives and would communicate with students by March 23.
"Please do not email ACER or contact the GAMSAT office... we will directly share all relevant information with candidates," the email said.
FIRE SCIENCE FORUM
The 2020 Fire Science Forum, scheduled for next Tuesday, March 17, at the Queensland State Library in Brisbane has been postponed. A Healthy Land and Water spokeswoman said: "We believe this is in the best interests of all 300 participants, and can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly. It is our full intention to reschedule the 2020 Fire Science Forum later this calendar year, once this health crisis has passed."
Melanoma Institute Australia CEO Matthew Browne has announced all remaining Melanoma March events nationally, including the Brisbane March meant to meet at the Riverstage on Sunday, March 29. "This decision has not been made lightly, however protecting the health of our dedicated community members and their families who run and attend these events, many of whom are cancer patients, is paramount," Mr Browne said. He said there would be full refunds for registrations, with details on the process released shortly.
WOODFORDIA CANCELS THE PLANTING 2020 FESTIVAL
The annual three-day Planting Festival, at Woodfordia, near Woodford has been cancelled due the current coronavirus crisis.
It was to have on May 1-3 and organisers had said refunds for tickets will be organised.
The Planting is a celebration of cultural expression through music, dance, art and folk lore and nurturing of forested parkland through tree planting.
COLLIERS CANCEL CHARITY LUNCH
Colliers International has cancelled its annual Queensland Charity Lunch for next Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Colliers state chief executive Simon Beirne said the "difficult decision" to cancel the 11th annual lunch at Blackbird Bar & Grill on March 20 was taken after advice from the agency's Risk Management Committee and coronavirus Response Team.
"We are disappointed … however, we will always prioritise the safety of our people, our clients and the community, and this is a clear case of doing what's right," he said.
Comedian Jimeoin was to headline the event and money raised would have gone to the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal and Property Industry Foundation.
Since the event started it has raised $800,000.
- CHRISTOPHER HERDE, Prime Site editor
BUSHFIRE FUNDRAISER CANCELLED
Avid Reader has cancelled the bushfire fundraiser tonight Stories Beneath the Clock Tower at City Hall.
JINDALEE STATE SCHOOL P@C PROM NIGHT
Fundraiser for the school on Saturday, March 21, has been postponed.
TAFE QUEENSLAND HARMONY DAY FESTIVAL
Harmony Day Festival at Inala Campus, 54 Thrush St, Inala on Tuesday, March 31, has been cancelled.
LIONS CLUB EVENT CHANGES
The Lions Club of Brisbane MacGregor has cancelled its annual Health and Wellbeing Expo for seniors which was meant to be held on May 13.
However, they are still in discussions as to whether their annual Harmony Day event will also need to be cancelled.
Organiser Narelle Wyvill-Anstey said the club was following the recommendations from health officials but because the event is under 500 people, likely under 100, it might continue.
WELCOME TO REDCLIFFE DINNER
The Welcome to Redcliffe dinner has been postponed due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus. The event, held by Encircle, was scheduled for March 26 at the Pilpel Restaurant.
A future date has not yet been determined.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
The Electoral Commission of Queensland says the local government elections are to go ahead March 28. In response to concerns raised by Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner on social media about people having difficulty filling in the online postal vote application form and the deadline to apply being so soon - Monday, March 16 - an ECQ spokeswoman said residents could phone ECQ on 1300 881 665 to register for a postal vote. She said voters could also download a PDF of the form and email or fax it to ECQ. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the fax number is (07) 3036 5776.
REDLAND CITY COUNCIL
Events in the Redlands will continue as planned despite growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
Mayor Karen Williams said, during this week's council general meeting, she had been told election day would still go ahead as planned.
Other events, including Redland Community Centre's free annual Easter egg hunt, have specifically asked people who are unwell to stay away.
"If you or your child are unwell or have been around someone who has recently returned from overseas and/or been around someone with COVID-19 please do not attend, we are more than happy to supply a small Easter egg package for your family to enjoy at home,' the organisation said.
Sporting events like tomorrow's Capalaba FC vs Brisbane Strikers NPL match at John Fredericks Park Capalaba will still go ahead.
LOGAN CITY COUNCIL
NO major events have been cancelled yet in Logan due to the coronavirus but the council is reviewing its program of events.
The council said it was working closely with Queensland Health and would follow all of the state advice.
All events and mass gatherings, including those council was sponsoring or supporting, and all events at council-run facilities, including libraries and the Logan Art Gallery would be reviewed.
Announcements of cancellations or postponements in line with the latest advisories will be made as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Canterbury College principal Daniel Walker said he would curtail a range of sporting activities such as handshakes, and other body contact sports.
He cancelled the school assembly and some arts rehearsals.
Mr Walker said spectators would not be allowed to attend the JTAS Swimming Carnival at Chandler on Tuesday March 17.
However, he said senior staff were prepared if the school had top be closed and he was still deciding on whether the college's formal could got ahead.
OPEN AIR MARKETS
The following open air markets are going ahead with increased hygiene measures:
■ Carseldine - every Saturday from 6am-noon on corner of Beams and Dorville Rds
■ Nundah - every Sunday from 6am-noon in the train station car park at the bottom of Nundah Village
■ Redcliffe - along Redcliffe Pde every Sunday from 8am-2pm
■ Milton - Cribb St from 6am-noon on Sundays
■ Brisbane City - Wednesdays from 8am-6pm next to the casino in Queen St Mall; and Thursdays from 10am-2pm on the corner of Ann & Wharf Sts
Market co-ordinator Mark Power said increased hygiene measures included: increased frequency and sanitising of bathroom cleaning; installation of hand wash stations; increased width of walkways and monitoring all stallholders in relation to their hygiene practices; and a policy of offering credit to stallholders to encourage them to stay away if they are unwell.
PLANT AND GARDEN EXPO, ROCKLEA
The Plant and Garden Expo, at Rocklea, is open and will stay open. "We opened at 9am this morning and we'll be going till 8pm tonight. We open again tomorrow 9am-4pm tomorrow," event co-ordinator Ruth O'Dowd said. "We've had a lot of people coming through. People aren't stopping from going to shopping centres, so why should they stop going to events," she said.
ROCKLEA MARKETS GO AHEAD
The Brisbane Markets at Rocklea are open this weekend. On the market's Facebook page it states: "It's business as usual at the Saturday Fresh and Sunday Discovery Markets this Saturday and Sunday from 6am-12 noon". For up to date information visit brisbanemarketplace.com.au. Rocklea's Brisbane Night Market is also open tonight.
SAY G'DAY IN MAY WALK
Federal Member for Moreton Graham Perrett is still going to undertake his Say G'day in May walk around the southside meeting with residents and community groups despite coronavirus fears.
In 2018, Mr Perrett walked the length and width of the electorate. He is now taking on the challenge again to highlight the rising rate of loneliness in our community.
"Community groups are at the forefront of reducing loneliness and social isolation," Mr Perrett said.
"They provide engagement, support and are a fun way to meet like-minded people."
Parkrun participants aren't letting the threat of coronavirus stop them from staying fit. Wishart Parkrun is still on Saturday morning (tomorrow) and locals are keen to do the run in some cooler weather.
MARKETTA OPEN FOR BUSINESS
It's business as usual for Mt Gravatt Street Food, located down the back of the Mt Gravatt Showgrounds, on Saturday from 4pm. For up to date information check out the marketta's Facebook page: facebook.com/mtgravattmarketta
EATONS HILL HOTEL IN HOLDING PATTERN
The Eatons Hill Hotel, which regularly hosts concerts in its 2100-person capacity ballroom, has not made a decision about whether some upcoming events may be cancelled or postponed.
Group marketing manager Tony Forrest said they were waiting on what the Federal Government had to say in regards to the chief medical officer's statement.
"I'm under the impression the government is having a meeting today so by the end of today we would have had that decision made," she said.