Bunnings in the ACT will begin firing up the barbies this Saturday (3 October), while those just over the border in Queanbeyan and beyond will have to wait another week before snagging a sausage on 10 October.
In an election year without the sausage sizzle, and massive pre-poll voting to avoid the rush on election day proper, Bunnings is firing up the burners – a sign that at least some traditions are back.
Across Canberra’s five stores, community groups are gearing up to cook the first sausages since March on Saturday, with the Belconnen Pony Club cooking at Belconnen, the Rotary Club of Aurora at Gungahlin, Outrigger Canoe Club at Majura Park, MissionWorx at Fyshwick and Vikings Fishing Club at Tuggeranong.
“The funds that are raised from the Bunnings BBQ’s help lessen the financial cost to members to participate in the sport, it provides much needed assistance,” Rod Woodward from the fishing club said.
“The prime object of the Vikings Fishing Club is to foster and encourage the amateur sport of fishing, we host regular seasonal fresh water and salt water trips and we also conduct introduction to fishing clinics for children.”
Community groups who had sausage sizzles pre-booked during the lockdown are being prioritised for the restart, with around 130 groups in the queue to run events in NSW on the first weekend back and around 10 groups booked in the ACT, Bunnings chief operating officer Deb Poole said.
“We have had phenomenal customer feedback in states where we have brought the fundraisers back and community groups have done an incredible job prioritising customer safety with the new physically distanced layouts and additional hygiene measures,” she said.
“While our community groups are taking a number of extra precautions, what hasn’t changed is the great feeling of supporting a local community group and the unmistakable taste of an Aussie sausage sizzle.”
There will be separate ordering and pick-up points to allow for physical distancing, increased cleaning processes and hygiene requirements, and additional signage to guide customers.
More than 40,000 sausage sizzles are run by local community groups each year at Bunnings’ stores across Australia. The first community sausage sizzle was run 26 years ago at Bunnings Sunshine in Melbourne.