Fresh round of funding to ensure country shows must go on

Federal government releases $25 million of funding via round two of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program

Events
The latest round of federal government funding will help shows go on in 2022. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher

The latest round of federal government funding will help shows go on in 2022. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher

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Federal funds to help shows and field days resume.

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THEY are the highlight of many region's calendars and next year the show will be able to go on thanks to a fresh funding package from the federal government.

A further $21 million will be available via the second round of the federal government's Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program to help country shows and field days resume in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional $4 million will also be available through the government's Supporting Showmen and Women Program, which has been extended for an additional year.

Launched last year, the first round of the funding program offered more than $34 million to organisers whose events had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

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Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said events like shows and field days were the lifeblood of country communities, therefore it was vital to help keep them alive.

"COVID-19 has forced more than 700 agricultural shows and field days to cancel since the pandemic began," Mr Littleproud said.

"As a result, our show societies and field day organisers have incurred significant financial losses for two consecutive years. Without these events they've got no way to cover their costs.

"They deliver significant social benefits to rural and regional Australia, bringing heart, soul and a sense of pride to towns across the country. I am proud to support these events and will continue to encourage the states and territories to do likewise."

Mr Littleproud said the extension of the package which supports men and women who rely on the show industry for their incomes was equally important,

"Our travelling showmen and women - often small, independent, sole-traders or family-based operations - are particularly hard hit. The flow-on effects to local communities will be felt for years," he said.

"Agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy annually, attract more than six million patrons, and are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers and more than 4,000 showmen and women.

"Under round one of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program the government provided $34.5 million to 378 show societies and field day organisers who cancelled in 2020.

"We are continuing to back these iconic events with a further $25 million to help ease cash flow pressures for event organisers and provide rent relief to our showmen and women who bring life and colour to the shows."

Round two of the programs will be directed at events and show workers that had to cancel in 2021 due to the pandemic and will be available until June 30 next year.

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