Friday 29 July 2011

Cairns Show manager stood down

Gavin King
Friday, July 29, 2011
© The Cairns Post

Cairns Show general manager Alison Stickens has been stood down and could be sacked by the show committee just days after she delivered a record-breaking event.

Ms Stickens, who has been show manager for the past four years without any previous complaint or issues being raised, was told of the committee’s decision at a meeting on Wednesday.

The reasons given for the committee’s decision included that she was difficult to contact during the show and that she did not get along with all of the 32 members of the management committee.

She has vowed to fight the decision and has engaged a solicitor and a representative from the Australian Workers’ Union to take on the management committee.

Show committee president Ian Allen said a vote would be held at a meeting today to decide if Ms Stickens is dismissed. He declined to comment further, only saying the committee was "unhappy with her performance".

Ms Stickens, who is also a director of the state’s peak show group Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies, said she was shattered by the sudden news. A record crowd of 80,088 people attended last week’s Cairns Show, the biggest in its 120-year history.

"I’m just devastated, I give 110 per cent every year and I just can’t understand where this has come from," she said.

"I’ve got support from all stakeholders, I’ve got great relationships with the sponsors and the media and all the staff, and the committee has never raised any issue or concern with my performance over the past four years.

"I’m going to fight to get my job back because they have not followed due process or workplace law."

Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies chief executive Mark Bryant, who was general manager of Cairns Show for three years before Ms Stickens took up the role, said he was concerned about her sacking.

"The Cairns Show is an extremely important part of the Cairns calendar so the community must come first and we’d be concerned if any problems arose in the running of the event," he said.

"I’ve never had any problems with Alison’s performance over the years I’ve had dealings with

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