THE Northern Territory Cattlemens’ Association has made the tough decision to postpone its popular annual conference amid growing national efforts to curb the potential spread of COVID-19.
The NTCA made the announcement on its social media channels on Saturday:
NTCA CONFERENCE POSTPONED. Due to the unfolding nature of #Covid_19 & the advice of medical professionals the #NTCAConf2020 has been postponed until 2021. Registrations will be carried over to 2021 event. Any questions please contact: [email protected] @MattBrannRURAL pic.twitter.com/DPD1v74nGF
— NTCA (@NTCattlemen) March 13, 2020
The NTCA said the conference has been postponed to 2021 due to the unfolding nature of COVID 19 and the advice and medical professionals, with registrations to be carried over to 2021.
The event which was scheduled for March 26 and 27 in Alice Springs had more than 500 registrations.
“The rapid and unpredictable nature of the changing advice means we cannot guarantee the event will be able to go ahead, even though it attracts 500 delegates,” the NTCA said on its Facebook page.
“We have had a number of cancellations in the last 24 hours due to travel bans being placed on registered delegates by the organisations they work for.
“This is expected to increase as more companies enforce travel bans and as a consequence reducing numbers moving forward will make the event, even a downsized event, financially difficult.”
The NTCA said it will still proceed with the Annual General Meeting on Thursday March 26th which is open to NTCA members only.
“We are proposing to have a scaled down post-AGM event which will be held for members and those sponsors who are still attending.
“We are also proposing to still have the Ladies Lunch and are seeking to confirm numbers from those who are still keen to attend the event on Thursday March 26th.”
“All registrations as they exist now will be carried over to the 2021 event. If you have any questions please contact [email protected]”
The decision follows calls by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and all State and Territory leaders on Friday for all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people to be suspended from Monday March 16 amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.
The cancellation is not extended to schools, universities, public transport or airports.
Australians have also been urged against travelling overseas unless it is essential.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the suspension of mass gatherings is precautionary.
“It is getting ahead of this to ensure that we can minimise the impact on your health and [so] we can ensure with confidence the ability for people to be accessing the health services that they and their families will need,” Mr Morrison said, as reported by the ABC on Friday.
The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland also announced on Saturday morning that it has decided to postpone its upcoming annual conference, which had been scheduled to be held in Roma on March 19-20.