Late last week, the Federal Government announced that non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people should not occur in an effort to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), with a ban implemented by NSW State Government today. With these sanctions in place, Cowra Shire Council has made the decision to cancel Cowra’s Festival of International Understanding in April.
The decision was made after consultation with senior management within Council and with the Festival Coordinator. Other upcoming large-scale events within the Cowra Shire may also be potentially impacted or cancelled.
Mayor of Cowra, Cr Bill West said the decision was made with great disappointment.
“We are sad not to be able to proceed with the Festival and to celebrate our guest nation New Zealand, but we are acting responsibly as well as on the direction from state and federal government,” said Cr West.
“Council may consider holding some of the activities at a later date in the year but at this stage all events and activities relating to the Festival have been cancelled.”
Cr West said cancelling the Festival of International Understanding was not a reason for community members to panic about Coronavirus but rather to reduce unnecessary social contact and ensure the safety of our vulnerable community members.
“This is a precautionary measure to the current situation which is occurring. I must stress that this is not a call for panic, but encourage the community to be responsible and follow the advice from health professionals,” said Cr West.
Residents may still receive a Festival of International Understanding program in their mailbox, as the planning and printing for that program was completed before the decision was made to cancel.
Future events may be impacted with the new ban set in place by the NSW Government. Council will continue to closely monitor the situation alongside local health professionals, and the Local Emergency Management Committee.
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