Organisers of shows and field days in Nicholls that were forced to cancel because of COVID-19 are about to get a slice of $34 million Federal Government funding to help ensure they can bounce back next year.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said nine organisations in Nicholls would share in almost $230,000 of federal funding via the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program.
Among the recipients are the Shepparton ($70,000), Seymour ($15,000), Cobram ($13,938) and Nathalia ($10,000) agricultural societies.
The Elmore District Machinery Field Days also received $70,000, while the Echuca-Moama ($15,000), Kyabram ($15,000), Numurkah ($15,000), and Yarrawonga ($3777) pastoral societies will also receive funding.
Mr Drum 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 that 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,” Mr Drum said.
“I am very pleased so many important organisations in Nicholls are 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.
“Next year is looking so much brighter and I know this support will be fantastic boost for our volunteers, families and school kids.”
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, 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,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that 378 shows and field days across the country have been approved for funding to help ease cash-flow pressures.
“The Federal 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.”
Chair of Agricultural Shows Australia, Rob Wilson, said show societies forced to cancel in 2020 were positive about hosting again next year.
“This Federal Government support has helped provide certainty and a renewed sense of optimism 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.”
Visit the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program webpage here.
- 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.