The Central Australian Show Society says future shows are in jeopardy after the snap decision by the Northern Territory government to cancel this year’s show over COVID concerns, leaving the society with no income for a second year in a row.

Key points:

  • The Central Australian Show Society faces a second year without income after a last-minute COVID cancellation by the NT government
  • The society says future shows are now in jeopardy
  • The society is seeking compensation from the NT government, but says there are “no guarantees” 

The decision was made four days out from the gates opening at Blatherskite Park and a day before a 72-hour precautionary COVID lockdown was announced for Alice Springs — which was lifted 24 hours early on the public show holiday.

Central Australia Show Society president Murray MacLeod said the cancellation was devastating and had put future shows in jeopardy.

“We’ve had to pay all our entertainment people. We had to pay for the … hiring of the grounds.”

The annual show is the society’s only form of income for the year.

pumpkins, gourds and leafy greens at the Alice Springs Show.

Central Australian produce at the Alice Springs Show.(

ABC Rural: Jack Price


“We need to look forward and see what sort of financial position we’re in,” Mr MacLeod said.

Mr MacLeod said he had approached Northern Territory government ministers to help recoup some of the costs involved.

brightly coloured laughing clowns with child's hand in one's mouth.

The Central Australian Show Society is under financial strain after a snap cancellation of the 2021 event.(

ABC Alice Springs: Emma Haskin


“They said put in a proposal but there’s no guarantees of anything,” he said.

Mr MacLeod said this year’s cancellation was worse than last year’s because the show was cancelled so close to its planned opening date.

Minister for Territory Families Kate Worden said protecting Territorians, particularly vulnerable communities, was a priority for the government.

“The government funds the Alice Springs show $40,000 every year so it can run,” she said.

“Everyone loves the show and we will continue to work with the Alice Springs Show Society.”

Posted , updated 

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