Gladstone Seafood Festival won't be back until next year
HOPES for return of the Gladstone Seafood Festival after a two-year absence have been dashed yet again, despite calls to help the battling industry get back on track.
Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd (GAPDL) has said the festival will return next year instead.
"Gladstone Festivals and Events, with GAPDL, Gladstone Regional Council (and others), are in the process of formulating exciting plans for the Gladstone Seafood Festival to return to our 2014 major events calendar," chief executive Glenn Churchill said.
GRC deputy mayor Matt Burnett said organisers had run out of time to deliver the event this year.
"(We) need more time to organise, so it's a wow festival, instead of rushing it at the last minute," he said.
"Me personally, I think it should be this year - it's time to showcase how great seafood is in the Gladstone region.
"But if people who know more about these things said we should wait a year, I would totally support that."
The festival ran for 12 years before it was put on hold in 2011 due to dwindling crowds, a few months before diseased fish were discovered in Gladstone harbour.
Cr Burnett said fish health wasn't a reason for the delay - but previous sponsor Gladstone Fish Market director Simon Whittingham said it should be.
"I'm torn ... It's a great event for our industry, but unfortunately I wouldn't be involved showcasing Gladstone seafood. I can now prove concerns about the levels of metals and toxins within the samples that have been taken. How can I willingly participate in exposing people to a product that might have adverse impacts on their health down the track?" he said.