Former fire chief set to open Cowra Show

Former NSW RFS commissioner and now head of Resilience NSW, Shane Fitzsimmons, is set to open the Cowra Show this year, subject to unforeseen circumstances. Photo: The Canberra Times
Former NSW RFS commissioner and now head of Resilience NSW, Shane Fitzsimmons, is set to open the Cowra Show this year, subject to unforeseen circumstances. Photo: The Canberra Times

He led NSW through the one of the worst bushfire seasons in the state's history and now former NSW RFS Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons is set to open this year's Cowra Show.

Fitzsimmons, who now heads the state crisis response agency, Resilience NSW, accepted an invitation from the Cowra Show Society to attend this year's Cocktail Party, subject to any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies that may arise.

Cowra Show Society President, Matt Bohman, said he couldn't think of anyone more fitting to open this year's Show.

"I think, given the year that we've had, with the fires and what he did, and the drought and then this virus, I think we couldn't find a better person to come and open the Show," Mr Bohman said.

"We're excited that he accepted our request, we know he's busy, we're looking forward to hosting him on the evening and we hope that, with no unforeseen changes coming up, that people come out and see him and see the showgirls and some of the other things we will do that night to open the Cowra Show."

Mr Bohman said the committee was "cautiously optimistic" about the Cowra Show going ahead this year and preparations are in full swing.

"We just think we might as well prepare because we've already lost out on the Wine Show and we want to celebrate Cowra as much as anybody else," he said.

"We're planning to go ahead and then we're trying to reach out to other community groups that have missed things to see if we can make it a weekend that celebrates Cowra."

Mr Bohman said while plans could change at any moment, depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has had food, entertainment and ride providers commit to this year's Show.

"The Guild with the rides... they are obviously looking for places to go too," he said.

"We've got an entertainment piece that we're sitting on before both sides commit fully to it to make sure that we can go ahead.

"We've got all the pieces in place... we think it's going to go ahead, we're planning for it to go ahead. We're planning to succeed."