COVID-19 hit show societies and field day organsiers in Cairns and Far North Queensland can now apply for a one-off payment under the Australian Government’s $39 million Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program.
The program provides operational support for agricultural shows societies and organisers of agricultural field days forced to cancel their scheduled show or field day in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch encouraged eligible local show societies and field day organsiers to apply as soon as possible.
“This is a welcome initiative to ensure great local events can recover and continue supporting the economy and rich agricultural heritage of Cairns and Far North Queensland,” Mr Entsch said.
“I want to assure local communities and the dedicated volunteers who work so hard to stage these events that the Morrison Government is with them all the way during these times.
“Agricultural shows and field days that have cancelled their event in 2020 because of COVID‑19 will be eligible to apply and they will not have to compete for assistance.
“I encourage show societies and field day organisers to jump on the government’s Community Grants Hub or GrantConnect sites now to check their eligibility and apply.”
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said local agricultural show societies and field day organisers have until 9 October 2020 to apply under the first funding round.
“These truly Aussie events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city,” Mr Littleproud said.
“They contribute more than $1 billion to the national economy each year, attract more than six million patrons and are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers.
“That is why this government is investing $39 million in support to help them deal with cash flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations and ensure their future.”
Agricultural Shows Australia chair Dr Rob Wilson welcomed the opening of applications and urged agricultural show societies forced to cancel their 2020 show to apply.
“Agricultural shows have been impacted by COVID-19 and this financial support will assist planning to begin for shows in 2021 and will provide the local communities the confidence to engage and participate, to ensure these Australian iconic events to continue,” Dr Wilson said.
“We know agricultural shows are important to regional and metropolitan Australia as they provide community connections and wellbeing as well as encouraging agricultural education through competition and benchmarking of agricultural pursuits and produce.
“This program supports Agricultural shows and field days across the country, right down to the smallest country show.”
Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia secretary Ms Wendy Franklin also welcomed the opening of applications.
“Regrettably, COVID-19 has caused almost all agricultural field days in Australia to be cancelled in 2020. This has created financial difficulty for organisers of these important events,” Ms Franklin said.
“I welcome this program because it will provide the funding that many agricultural field day organisers will need to keep their events running in a post-COVID-19 environment.
“This is good news not just for field days but the important agricultural industries they support.”
Further information about the program can be found by visiting: www.communitygrants.gov.au/grants/supporting-agricultural-shows-field-days-program