Renee Cluff

Tropic Now Editor

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Far North Queensland events caught up in Facebook news ban

Facebook pages for Far North Queensland festivals and venues have been censored as part of the social media giant’s ban on Australian news content.

Tropic Now can reveal the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) page, the Port Douglas Hot and Steamy Festival page and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) page have all been locked out as the platform moved to stop the release of news.

Christine Posgate, the Acting CEO of Cairns Regional Council which manages CPAC, said it’s working to get the page restored.

“We are disappointed that the Cairns Performing Arts Centre page has been caught up in Facebook’s decision to ban news sites for Australian users,” she said.

“The issue has been reported to Facebook and we are hopeful that the page will be restored quickly, as were other pages such as BOM and Queensland Health, which were also inadvertently blocked.

“In the meantime, we encourage anyone looking for information on CPAC to visit the website.”

For the Hot and Steamy Festival, the lockout came on the worst possible day, as the event began.

Organiser Nathan Clarke said it’s having a major impact.

“It’s really impacted our ability to get the event out there, show the pictures of the festival, the colour and the energy,” he said.

“Hopefully it will be fixed before the major events such as the White Party kick off.

“We’ve also got a lot planned sponsors' posts to go out so it's going to have a huge impact.”

“It’s just ridiculous.”

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) marketing and communications manager Jack Wilkie-Jans told Tropic Now it will be difficult to advertise the event without the social media platform.

"I think we shared too many news articles over the years," he said.

"The CIAF Facebook fell to the might of the axe along with other media and non-media Facebook pages.

"I'm worried in the sense that we haven't had any parameters from Facebook as to what normal would look like should we regain access.

"It's an annual calendar event, we've just come out of lockdown from COVID-19, we're trying to rebuild and we need tourists to do that.

"If this goes on and on how to we begin marketing to people to come up?"

Tropic Now’s Facebook page has also been rendered useless, along with the pages of most media outlets across the country.

However, we remain committed to delivering high-quality local news, food, lifestyle, sport and business stories.

Find other ways to access our content here.