Premier Steven Marshall launched the Events Advisory Group (EAG) in November last year, less than two weeks after the Adelaide 500 was scrapped, in a bid to “drive a new era of events” for South Australia.
Chaired by Business SA’s Nikki Govan, the advisory body was set up to provide independent advice to the South Australian Tourism Commission on event opportunities.
Among its members were Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor, actor Hugh Sheridan, Australian Hotels Association President David Basheer and LA Times Food Festival executive director Angus Dillon.
The State Government this morning said the EAG has now reached its “natural conclusion” following this month’s launch of the “Bloom Festival” , the government’s spring tourism campaign which puts a range of new and existing events – including the Royal Adelaide Show and Christmas Pageant – under one marketing umbrella.
“The State Government thanks every single member of the EAG – a group that was formed to deliver positive outcomes for the South Australian events industry and the sector more broadly,” a State Government spokesperson said.
“A significant number of event proposals were provided directly by Members of the EAG, some of which have been adopted and some which are still being considered and evaluated by the SATC’s event team.
“The Government looks forward to making further announcements about new events for the future.
“The SATC will continue to benefit from the outcomes of the EAG as it works through the remaining ideas and proposals as well as continuing to develop the Bloom brand.”
The spokesperson said the Bloom Festival “is a testament to the work and effort undertaken by members of the EAG”.
Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said the EAG shutdown showed the government has “no plan” to replace Adelaide 500.
“It beggars belief that Steven Marshall made a decision to axe the Adelaide 500 without a plan to replace it, but now it’s even more startling that he’s canned the plan to replace the dumped event,” he told reporters today.
“Bloom is nothing more than a repackaging of existing events – hardly a replacement for the Adelaide 500.”
The shutdown of the advisory group comes after another feature event of the Bloom Festival – the decades-old Bay to Birdwood run – was canned on Monday.
Organisers of the motoring festival, which sees around 1500 historic cars paraded along a 72km route from West Beach to the National Motor Museum, announced yesterday the September event could not go ahead amid concerns about participants registered from interstate.
The Royal Adelaide Show was the first rebadged Bloom event to be cancelled earlier this month.
National Motor Museum Director Paul Rees said he was “extremely disappointed” to have had to cancel the event.
“The Bay to Birdwood is a large public event, and with growing uncertainty around Australia and with over 20 per cent of our participants registering from interstate we know that keeping South Australians safe is our most important job right now,” he said.
“We do have a range of engaging activities planned for Sunday 26 September though, and motoring enthusiasts will still be able to celebrate the Bay to Birdwood from home on the day.”
Malinauskas said the Bay to Birdwood’s cancellation showed “why we need a plan about the future of major events in South Australia”.
A spokesperson for the State Government said the Bloom Festival will “play an important role in South Australia’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and further building state pride”.
“The Bloom collective will not only showcase the diversity and quality of our state’s events and festivals but will also drive additional visitation to Adelaide and our regions,” the spokesperson said.
“This will result in growing expenditure, supporting our businesses, creating new jobs and positioning the state as a destination for innovation and technology.”
Marshall thanked the advisory body for their contributions to the planning and development of “new ideas for events following the government’s decisions regarding the Adelaide 500”.
“They’ve done excellent work and put forward great ideas for SATC to consider,” the premier told reporters today.
“There are many other things that were suggested that we’re going to continue to follow up.”
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