JMR WITH AGRICULTURE MINISTER LITTLEPROUD

Shows in the electorates of Ballarat, Bendigo and Corio that were cancelled because of COVID-19 are about to get a slice of $34 million Australian Government funding to help ensure they can bounce back next year.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the first payments under the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program will roll out before Christmas.

“Two months ago I launched this package to reimburse eligible costs for shows and field days who had to cancel because of COVID-19,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Today I am pleased to announce that 378 shows and field days—including in regional Victoria —have been approved for funding to help ease cash-flow pressures.

“The Government is keen to ensure show societies and field day organisers are in the best shape possible to continue in 2021. These events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city.”

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said shows and field days were uniquely Australian and provide huge economic spin-offs for local communities as well as opportunities for the businesses and services who exhibit.

“They also help to keep maintain our farmers’ competitive edge by providing an outlet for new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working to be shared.

“I am very pleased the following shows in the Ballarat, Bendigo and Corio electorates were able to access this funding to help get them through this tough period and out the other side in a sound position to host again in 2021”:

Ballarat electorate:
• $12,065 for the Clunes Show
• $6,180 for the Kingston Show
• $70,000 for the Ballarat Show

Bendigo electorate:
• $70,000 for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show
• $6,790 for the Heathcote Show
• $7,349 for the Kyneton Show
• $70,000 for the Elmore District Machinery Field Days
• $70,000 for the Bendigo Show
• $4,278 for the Maldon Show
• $10,000 for the Castlemaine Show

Corio electorate:
• $70,000 for the Royal Geelong Show

“Next year is looking so much brighter and I know this support will be fantastic boost for our volunteers, families and school kids.”

Chair of Agricultural Shows Australia Dr Rob Wilson said show societies forced to cancel in 2020 were positive about hosting again next year.

“This Australian Government support has helped provide certainty and a renewed sense of optimism ahead of 2021 after a difficult year for everyone, especially our 50,000 volunteers,” Dr Wilson said.

“With some states already giving the go-ahead to shows next year, subject to COVID conditions being met, this funding will ensure hundreds of societies can start planning now.”

Secretary of the Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia Wendy Franklin welcomed the fast turnaround of applicants’ approvals.

“Getting this money out the door is going to be a fantastic Christmas present for many of our event organisers,” Mrs Franklin said.

“Even if it’s to help cover costs such as rates, insurance and telecommunications, this support will go a long way towards ensuring next year we can bounce back bigger and better.”

For more information click onto the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program webpage here.

Fast Facts
• Agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy each year but rely largely on financial assistance from supporters and attendees.
• There are 580 agricultural shows nationwide, which attract six million visitors and are serviced by 50,000 volunteers.
• The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program funding is being provided under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund for regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
• Successful applicants are eligible to claim reimbursements on costs including bank fees, utilities, rates, insurance, fire alarms and equipment, cleaning supplies, telecommunications, IT system licensing costs, website costs, state/national show body affiliation fees and rent.
• The program is part of a broader $60 million agricultural support package that includes the $20 million Regional Agricultural Shows Development program.

3 December 2020