Bloomin' hell: Florists cut from Commonwealth Games
QUEENSLAND growers say they have missed a $12 million windfall and opportunity for priceless exposure after Commonwealth Games organisers refused to give Australian flowers to medal winners.
And Bundaberg's Jody Schneider is dirty the industry hasn't been given the international spotlight to blossom in.
Traditionally, athletes who win medals at major sporting events are presented bouquets of unique flora.
Mrs Schneider said the decision to go with a Borobi plush toy was a wasted opportunity for flower growers.
"The world has missed out on seeing our natives," she said.
"It was a chance to showcase our country and our state's flowers to the world.
"Now that opportunity has been wasted."
Flower Association of Queensland executive officer Shane Holborn told the NewsMail they had been fighting for two years to have flowers presented at the Games.
Instead of giving the winning athletes a bouquet of kangaroo paws and waratahs, they were given a stuffed toy, he said.
"It's really disappointing and we are really upset about it," Mr Holborn said.
He said it wasn't about the money and the association had been willing to work with the Games committee to make it happen.
"It was not about selling the flowers to them - we even offered the flowers to them for free," Mr Holborn said.
The executive officer said it was about the coverage the Australian flowers would have received while in the world's spotlight.
"Media from all around the world would have seen what we have to offer," he said.
"The promotional exposure for our industry would have been long-term.
"Growers would have made clients and contacts they would have been able to keep around for years.
"It really would have been a good kick for the our industry with $12 million for Queensland alone."
A Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation spokeswoman said the decision was made to give medallists a "special memento from the host city that they could take home with them".
"Flowers can often not be taken home for biosecurity reasons," she said
"Each medallist at GC2018 will receive a Borobi plush along with their medal."
She said in Glasgow medallists received a quaich, which is a two-handled drinking cup or bowl, as their gift and scarves were presented in Delhi.
But Mr Holborn said 590 flower arrangements were given out at the Glasgow Games and he just wanted the chance to do the same here.
"We were willing to get designers in and source Queensland growers, some from Bundaberg," he said.
"We were keen and offered assistance but were not given the chance."
Bundy has a large flower-growing business community.