First it was major vendors snubbing CeBIT Europe then numbers were down 30%, now the NSW Premier Morris Lemma has refused to meet with key CeBit Delegates in Australia. At the same time NSW Government officals are now saying that this will be the last year that the NSW government part funds the CeBit show at Darling Harbour.
A NSW government insider has told SHN that they believe that CeBit should be self supportive like “most other shows held at Darling Harbour”. It is not the job of Government to fund a show year in year out and I believe that this could be the lat year that CeBit gets NSW money.
This is not the first time that the organiser of CeBit Australia have had a falling out with an Australian Government. Hanover Fairs the organisers of the show and a Company part owned by the German Government, pulled the plugs on the Intelligent Home Show in Melbourne after the Victorian Government who part funded the show refused to cough up an estimated $500,000.
The managing director of Hannover Fairs Australia, Jackie Taranto admitted to SHN shortly after the decision was taken to kill off the Intelligent Home Show in Melbourne that their policy was to not do a show in Australia unless they got Government funding.
Hanover Fair executives at the time claimed that Multimedia Victoria failed to deliver on a “verbal” agreement to tip tens of thousands into the event over the next two years as long as the event stayed in Victoria.
Robert Thorn, marketing manager at Hanover Fairs at the time said “The Victorian Government have been dragging their heels over the signing a major sponsorship agreement for the Intelligent Home Show in Victoria and we cannot go ahead without the support of the local government”. According to the Australian newspaper the NSW Premier Morris Iemma has CeBit told organisers that he would not be available to attend the event with Christine Wulff Prime Minister of Lower Saxony.
Lower Saxony and the City of Hannover hold a 50 per cent share in Hannover Fair’s parent company, Deutsche Messe , which has been operating the trade fair in Australian under the CeBIT brand since 2002.
Hannover Fairs said that Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan had been invited to attend the event in the Premier’s place but that she was yet to confirm that she would attend.