Members of the ASSCT executive have been monitoring the spread and impacts of the covid19 virus very closely. A health and wellbeing protocol has been implemented in response as part of our due diligence. The ongoing spread of the virus has made the executive consider seriously what implications it has for the staging of the conference. Of particular concern is how prevalent the virus will be at the time of the conference. This has been a very difficult decision, and has not been taken lightly. Given the acceleration of infection seen in other countries around the world, the executive undertook a vote on Monday 10th March to decide if the conference should be postponed by 12 months. The results and implications are as follows.
- The executive voted on 11/03/2020 to postpone the 2020 Bundaberg conference for 12 months due to concerns about the potential extent of the covid19 virus at the time of the conference. This means the conference would be held in Bundaberg in 2021 with Mackay in 2022.
- The decision will not be acted on until 16th March 2020 whilst more information is sought on the matter in case there are other compelling (as yet unknown) reasons found to reverse this decision. After 16th March, venue cancellation costs rise considerably. On 16th March a final communication will be issued on this outcome.
- In the interim, registrations and travel arrangements for the conference should be suspended.
- All impacted parties who have paid deposits will be asked to hold these over for 12 months. This will assist in minimising secretarial support workloads
- All 2020 papers can be delivered in 2021 along with any new papers in 2021. The 2021 conference may be longer in duration as a result.
- 2020 papers will be put on the web and a memory stick sent by mail.
- No abstracts will be printed this year.
- We will consider having a technical webinar if there is enough interest from both people delivering and receiving the papers. Interest in this idea is sought.
- If the conference does for some as yet unknown reason go ahead this year,
i. All overseas travellers may be required to undergo 14 days of self isolation in Australia first.
ii. All participants may be subject to screening at registration and throughout the conference as part of due diligence against spreading the infection.
iii. The early bird discount will be extended accordingly.
Your understanding on this matter is appreciated
Doug Sockhill 12/03/2020
ASSCT Honorary General Secretary
PO Box 5596
MACKAY MC QLD 4741