20 of Casino's events cancelled or postponed until September
USUALLY, at this time of year, Brenda Armfield is planning how many balloons she needs to decorate her lime green mini-moke.
Ms Armfield has been the voice of Casino's Beef Week for 30 years, promoting the town's main event through a loud hailer atop her mini-moke in the streets of Casino.
With the announcement of Beef Week being postponed until September, the balloons will not need to be inflated for awhile yet.
Casino's Beef Week and major agricultural event Primex are postponed due to the introduction of the Public Health (COVID-19 Public Events) Order 2020 issued by the federal government in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Norco Primex 2020 has been rescheduled to August 6-8.
Beef Week president Frank McKey said the committee was saddened to make the decision.
"We will work towards delivering our icon festival, possibly in early September which is dependant on the Australian Government advice," Mr McKey said.
Richmond Valley Council will also follow the same advice for its own events with the Public Health Order in place until Sunday, June 14, affecting almost 20 events scheduled for the Richmond Valley in the first half of the year.
Council's general manager Vaughan Macdonald said these events were largely run by volunteers and the benefits to the community are immeasurable so our help is really important.
He said the council was proactively co-ordinating its approach to the risk.
"Business continuity plans are being reviewed and updated as required," Mr Macdonald said.
State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said communities needed assurance that "we can get through whatever this virus throws at us, and the economic consequences which are following."
"We need to know that health services in our region are prepared and well able to deliver tests and treatment," Ms Saffin said.
"We need to be confident that leaders will act to support our regional economy now that the present crisis is impacting adversely on our institutions, businesses, families, pensioners and unemployed."
It was time too let go of the "Aussie reflex action - the handshake - and do what we Aussies do best - look out for each other," she said.