THE dead hand of bureaucracy has killed off an Ekka* institution.
The Grand Carousel, an antique merry-go-round that has thrilled thousands of youngsters for more than half a century, has been barred from this year's Ekka over fears children might be crushed under the hooves of its timber horses.
Even though it is considered safe in other states, the objections of a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspector have led to the Grand Carousel's 57-year link with the show being severed.
With the 133rd Ekka under way tomorrow, other safety inspectors were yesterday absorbed in the potentially hair-raising task of testing thrill rides such as the Sky Walker and Insanity.
*Ekka, cos Queenslanders can't spell, eg. Beer = XXXX. Ekka = Exhibition.
Update: The ban has been lifted so the ride will return next year.