Image from Eat Local Week
Eating locally important now more than ever
The Scenic Rim Regional Council has cancelled Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, including the Winter Harvest Festival, in the interests of public safety amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Following ongoing advice from the Australian and Queensland Government health authorities restricting mass gatherings and non-essential travel, and in consideration of the many stakeholders and partners, Council has made the tough however necessary decision to cancel the event, which attracts up to 40,000 people to the Scenic Rim annually.
The following statement can be attributed to Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, Mayor Greg Christensen:
"At a Special Council Meeting held on 26 March 2020, Council approved an economic stimulus package to help minimise the impact on the Scenic Rim's economy. This package included consideration of Eat Local Week and the ability to work with the region's agri- and food producers to develop a providore solution to open up growth opportunities.
"Council also announced its intention to develop a Go Local and Grow Local campaign in conjunction with local Chambers of Commerce across the region.
"Scenic Rim Regional Council works collaboratively with a wide range of local businesses to deliver Eat Local Week each year, and naturally it is a major disappointment that this cancellation of Eat Local Week must happen.
"However, it is the right decision to put the health and safety of the Scenic Rim's visitors, producers, tourism operators and the wider community first.
"We would like to thank the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week sponsors, event organisers, food ambassadors, stallholders and the broader Scenic Rim Eat Local Week family for their support and understanding.
"Scenic Rim Eat Local Week was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020. In the decade to date, Eat Local Week has gone from strength to strength, helping the Scenic Rim win its current title of 'Outstanding Region' at the delicious. Produce Awards and winning a national award at the Australian Economic Development Awards in 2019.
"Eat Local Week contributes about $2 million to the Scenic Rim's economy each year, and has helped the region build a strong local food movement with many loyal followers from near and far. Eat Local Week will be sorely missed by locals and visitors alike in 2020.
"In these tough and constantly changing times, we can at least give ourselves something to look forward to by marking 2021 Eat Local Week in our diaries for 26 June to 4 July. 
"As we count down to Eat Local Week 2021 now, more than ever, is the time to make the most of the abundant local Scenic Rim food still being produced right on our doorstep.
"All of us have the opportunity to support our local producers and food businesses as they adapt to give us safe access to fresh, seasonal, high quality produce.
"Council continues to look for innovative ways to support our region through this time.
"Council will publish a full list of participants and sponsors who had committed to be part of 2020 events on the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week website so you can show your support for those businesses affected now, and into the future.
"The Scenic Rim as a region looks forward to being able to once again share the sights, sounds and tastes of our unique event when we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Eat Local Week in 2021. Put 26 June to 4 July in your diaries now."