Thursday, 12 May 2022

"Australia’s fun makers battle 300% insurance rise & Liberal Govt backflip on support" - Morrison & Co turn their backs on folk who add the sparkle to our country shows

Cardinal Spin, media release, 11 May 2022:


12.00pm Saturday May 14th

Australia’s fun makers battle 300% insurance rise & Liberal Govt backflip on support

Following a ride stop at Hawkesbury Show, Australia’s largest regional show, last weekend - attended by 150 Sydney industry protestors and their families – operators at Shows across New South Wales and Queensland will this Saturday May 14th stage another ride stop to highlight the catastrophic consequences of a failed insurance market which includes the escalation in insurance costs over the last twelve months and scarce availability, and to put the spotlight on the Morrison Government’s renege on promised support.

Shows that will be impacted by the planned fifteen minute ride stop, under the banner of the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) and the Showmen’s Guilds of Australia include:


Bingara Show - 13th to 15th May

Coffs Harbour Show - 13th to 15th May

Bourke Show - 14th May

Orange Show - 14th to 15th May

Yeoval Show - 17th May


Gympie Show – 12th – 14th May

Ipswich Show – 13th – 15th May (Which includes ‘The Beast’, one of Australia’s $3 million rides)

Charleville Show – 12th – 14th May

Brookfield Show (Brisbane) – 13th – 15th May

The ride stop will happen at midday this Saturday.

And it’s not just travelling show ride operators who will be impacted. The rising insurance costs will also impact owners of trampoline parks, go kart tracks, ice rinks, bowling alleys, family entertainment centres, theme parks and more.

It’s a huge industry employing more than 7,000 people and contributing $1.84 billion to the economy annually that will be killed off if these insurance rises aren’t addressed and some support offered,” said President of the Australasian Showmen’s Guild, Aaron Pink.

We have ticked every box and jumped through every hoop the Liberal Government have asked of us to gain support – as we were advised the support would come if we followed the process, and yet it wasn’t included in the recent budget – and last week we received an official rejection. We did it all, and at a significant cost to our membership, and we’ve been left high and dry. Our insurance costs have gone up by an astronomical 300% in just twelve months which is totally unmanageable for our members, some unable to achieve any insurance. We’re talking about a lot of Ma and Pa operators who have struggled through Covid with mass cancellation of fairs, shows and attractions, as well as bushfires and floods. They don’t have the fund behind them to take on such a huge insurance cost increase, it’s just another kick in the guts from Government,” said AALARA President Shane McGrath.

Until last week Scott Morrison’s Government had been working with the peak industry bodies and commissioned ASBFEO to report into the proposed solution and make a recommendation.

The solution put forward was a Discretionary Mutual Fund, as recommend by Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Bilson. The Ombudsman’s forty-two-page report into the insurance crisis facing Australia’s amusement, leisure and recreation sector presented a clear argument for support of the struggling sector, saying ‘the clear and present danger is real’.

After working with the Federal Government for fourteen months on a solution we feel like they’ve just picked up the hammer from one of our high strikers and dropped it on us. If we can’t gain support this will mean the end of the line for thousands of people who work in our industry. And this will trickle down into the community. Imagine the Royal Easter Show or Ekka, or the hundreds of country shows without a sideshow alley and rides? Or iconic amusement parks like Luna Park or all the hundreds of local bowling alleys and family entertainment centres having to close their doors? The Government will effectively kill the fun for everyone if they don’t step up to help us find a solution. We all feel like they’ve taken us all for a ride,” added Shane McGrath.

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