Shows cancelled due to COVID to get funding boost

Shows and field days cancelled due to COVID to share in $34m

AGRICULTURAL shows and field days cancelled because of COVID-19 will get a slice of $34 million to ensure they can bounce back in 2021.

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.

With the vast majority cancelled due to the pandemic, there were fears many of them would be lost forever without federal government assistance.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said 378 shows and field days had been approved for funding and the first would roll out before Christmas.

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"This funding supports hundreds of our regional and remote country shows and field days held throughout Australia, as well as the big Royal Shows," Mr Littleproud said.

"These events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city. They also help farmers stay competitive by providing an opportunity to share innovation and new ways of doing business.

"They are uniquely Australian and provide huge economic spin-offs for the local communities hosting them as well as opportunities for the businesses and services who exhibit."

The Dubbo Show Society have scheduled the 2021 show for May 14 - 16, after being one of the shows forced to cancel in 2020.

Agricultural Shows Australia chair 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."

Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia secretary 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."

Successful applicants can 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.

This story Shows and field days cancelled due to COVID to share in $34m first appeared on Western Magazine.