Show of support for covid-hit ag days

Agricultural Shows and days like these calves at the 2018 Kingaroy Show are important to regional areas. Picture: Jessica McGrath 214570_01

Regional agricultural shows could be in for a welcome financial boost after many were cancelled due to the health crisis.

Wide Bay member Llew O’Brien welcomed the $2.7 million boost for agricultural show societies to help ensure they can continue to showcase the best of regional communities.

“Regional agricultural shows are important events that highlight the hard work and innovation of Wide Bay’s local communities, and this funding will help ensure they can continue to provide that support as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr O’Brien said.

The $2.7 million announcement is in addition to the $36.3 million previously announced in support of agricultural show societies.

“With so many fantastic ag shows throughout the Wide Bay, it will provide a real boost to our region and the local economy,” he said.

The initiative is part of a $39 million commitment to help show societies and field days deal with cash flow-pressures caused by Covid-19 cancellations, through the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Covid-19 relief and recovery fund.

“All agricultural shows and field days that have cancelled their event in 2020 because of Covid-19 will be eligible for this funding,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Agricultural field days are a uniquely Australian event, and generate significant economic benefit for their local communities as well as creating new opportunities for the businesses and producers who exhibit at them,” he said.

Minister for agriculture, drought and emergency management David Littleproud said the program would provide a one-off reimbursement to agricultural show societies and field day organisers impacted by the health crisis.

“This funding supports not only the larger agricultural field days but also the smaller regional ones because we acknowledge the role these events play in supporting on-farm innovation, productivity and profitability,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Field days hold immense social and economic value for local rural and regional communities, many of whom are doing it tough because of Covid-19.”