THE Federal Government has announced a $25 million package to help agricultural shows and field days bounce back from the COVID 19 pandemic.
When announcing the funding yesterday, agriculture minister David Littleproud said more than 700 shows and field days had been cancelled since the start of the pandemic.
“Our show societies and field day organisers have incurred significant financial losses for two consecutive years. Without these events they have no way to cover their costs,” Mr Littleproud said.
“They deliver significant social benefits to rural and regional Australia, bringing heart, soul and a sense of pride to towns across the country.”
The funding is a $4 million extension of the supporting showmen and women program and round two of the supporting agricultural shows and field days program, worth $21 million.
With applications set to open soon, the funding has been welcomed by the peak body Agricultural Shows Australia, who estimate events contribute $1 billion to the Australian economy each year.
Chair Dr Rob Wilson said the funding will be a lifeline for some ag shows, which have been cancelled in recent years.
“The financial support announced by the Australian Government yesterday will enable ag shows to plan and implement shows in 2022 and beyond.
“We have seen hundreds upon hundreds of shows cancelled in 2020 and 2021 at great cost to communities, agricultural exhibitors and the 50,000 volunteers who underpin show societies.
“Ag shows are a most effective event for educating Australians about agriculture and food production, bridging the city-country divide and have been an integral fixture in rural communities for more than a century, with some agricultural show societies approaching their 200th year.”