Chook men cry foul over parking

COFFS Harbour poultry breeders have cried foul and walked away from the 2009 Coffs Harbour Show on May 15-17 following a dispute over paltry parking.

Show Society officials have ruffled feathers by banning exhibitors from parking any vehicles beside the poultry pavilion during the show and from driving to the front of the pavilion to collect their birds on Saturday afternoon.

Leghorn bantam breeder John Arnett, who has been breeding fowls and organising poultry shows at the Showground for more than 40 years, said Lismore, Grafton and Armidale shows and even Sydney's giant Sydney Royal Easter Show allowed poultry exhibitors to drive up to the pavilion to collect their birds at the end of the show.

“There are more people at Sydney Royal at 4pm on Easter Sunday than we ever see at Coffs Harbour Show,” Mr Arnett said

He said many of the exhibitors were elderly and carrying 30kg boxes of chooks for 80 to 100 metres was too much for them.

Show President Kaye Hanson said they had really wanted the poultry exhibitors to be there and she had 'done her darndest' to get them there.

She said parking was available close by, but they could not have vehicles at the door of the pavilion or milling around with people and children at 4pm on Saturday afternoon and she would hate to see anyone hurt.

She said Showground Trust staff had rules and regulations about Showground access and had a 'big issue' with vehicles and people.

“There won't be cars in that area,” she said

“A lot of exhibitors won't have parking on the ground.”

Mr Arnett is particularly upset about the fowlyard scrap, as he had been planning to organise a special event at the Show, a special testimonial show for veteran poultry breeder, exhibitor and judge Jack Pike of Coffs Harbour, but he said time to book judges was running out.

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