CANCELLED: Popular fishing competition slips off the hook
FISHING enthusiasts will have to stow away their rods for another year, as organisers of the annual Bjelke-Petersen Inland Classic pull the plug on the 2020 event.
The popular fishing competition, run by the Bjelke-Petersen Dam Fish Management Committee, is the latest event to suffer at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite restrictions easing, a number of remaining obstacles have contributed to the fate of the event. These include financial strain on the events sponsors, fears that the Victorian spike will reach Queensland, and an elevated workload due to remaining COVID-19 safety restrictions.
Every year people flock from all around to enjoy a weekend of family fun and hope to share in the prize pool of top-of-the-line fishing and camping gear. Proceeds each year go to restocking the dam with freshwater fish.
Bjelke-Petersen Dam Fish Management Committee made the announcement via Facebook on Friday (July 10), stating:
"To all our beloved anglers and followers, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the 2020 Bjelke-Petersen Inland Classic is officially cancelled due to ongoing safety concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic."
"While this was a very difficult decision to make, we are absolutely certain that this is the choice that had to be made. We as a committee have a due diligence to also assist in ways to lessen the impact on our great region. It is also unfair on our amazing sponsors who kindly donate all of our prizes to run the event and put even more pressure on a slowly recovering economy."
The committee are already working to make the 2021 Bjelke-Petersen Inland Classic the biggest event yet, and are currently in discussion with sponsors about future opportunities.
"We are so grateful for all of you who attend and participate in our family event. While it is disappointing to cancel this year's event we look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces next year knowing the event next year will be better than ever."
"Stay healthy, take care of each other, keep on casting and we will see you all very soon."