Show businesses suffer as coronavirus fears grow
WITH gatherings over 500 people being banned in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, travelling showmen Debbie Cronk and Leann Allan are concerned about the future of their business.
Ms Cronk and Ms Allan run a show rides and amusement business, and were uncertain where they would go next after The Chronicle spoke with them at the Oakey Show at the weekend.
"We are in shock because it was sprung on us pretty suddenly," Ms Cronk said.
"This is our sole income.
"We're now wondering what we're going to do and how we're going to survive."
In a normal year, the pair would set up at the Warwick Show, and then the Toowoomba Show - but that won't be the case in 2020.
"We would normally pack up here tonight and leave for Warwick tomorrow," Ms Cronk said.
"But Warwick is cancelled so now we don't know what we're doing."
Ms Allan said she wished the government had given them more time to prepare.
"I do agree with some form of shut down so we get over it sooner rather than later, but a little bit of warning would have been better so we could put something in place," Ms Allan said.
"We're looking (for jobs) on Gumtree. We're truck drivers, we're multiskilled in that way.
"We can whipper-snipper or mow, or truck drive and that sort of thing.
"But whether a lot of other industries are going to shut down we're not sure."
Frank Hills runs a showbag shop, but he wasn't too worried about the affect coronavirus might have on his business.
"I'm more concerned about people getting sick and losing their lives, that's far more important to me," Mr Hills said.
"I can start my business in a month or two months or three months and carry on like nothing has changed. But if people are dead, that's it.
"I think they should totally cancel flights, totally cancel trains, totally shut down petrol stations so that people can't drive anywhere.
"The idea is to isolate everybody."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday said Australia's coronavirus outbreak could last for at least six months.