Tamworth coronavirus: Events cancelled cost economy $18 million | The Northern Daily Leader


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THE ECONOMY has been dealt an $18 million blow in cancelled Tamworth Regional Council events alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shutdown of several council-owned facilities and event organisers have had to cancel or reschedule. The $18 million hit to the city’s economy is just an early estimate, TRC mayor Col Murray said. “That’s only the council venues, there’s a much bigger picture here with Wests and The Pub Group, it’s going to be massive,” he said. “I think the only hope we’ve got is that the federal government continues with its stimulus and safety net measures. “The federal government has the capacity and responsibility, the state has some opportunity to contribute but local government doesn’t have much.” Wests Entertainment Group was due to hold the NRL Wests Tigers and Canberra Raiders clash at Scully Park, that usually brings in about 9000 spectators. The whole NRL season was suspended earlier this week, estimated to cost $500m. Social distancing rules have forced the closure of the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, the gallery and libraries and the Sports Dome. The council is working with tenants at the properties it owns to alleviate the financial burden. No council staff have been retrenched because of the crisis and general manager Paul Bennett is in the process of deploying staff at risk to other areas of the organisation. Read also: Despite the huge hit to the economy, Cr Murray said he did not see any council facilities not reopening once the COVID-19 threat passed. “We are planning to reengage with all the customers and work with all the event owners in council venues to work out how we reengage,” he said. “I think every single event owner is keen to reprogram, and it will be a cluttered landscape in a city like Tamworth when every entertainment venue reengages. “And boy, am I looking forward to the day we get to have some fun again.” Want more local news? Subscribe to the Leader to read it here first

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