‘Show’ of support for Wide Bay’s COVID-hit agricultural field days

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien has welcomed a $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. 

“This $2.7 million announcement is in addition to the $36.3 million previously announced to support agricultural show societies, and with so many fantastic ag shows throughout Wide Bay, it will provide a real boost to our region and the local economy.”

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,” Mr O’brien said.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program will provide a one-off reimbursement to agricultural show societies and agricultural field day organisers impacted by COVID-19.

“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,” Minister 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.”

An additional $100,000 one-off grant will be provided to the Association of Agricultural Field Days Australasia to support its annual conference scheduled for 30 April 2021 to 2 May 2021 and provide training and assistance for members on recovery management planning.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/infrastructure/supporting-ag-shows.

Fast facts:

  • Field days provide income to local contractors of more $1.8 million and economic value add to the Australian economy of more than $100 million.
  • Community organisations like P&Cs, sport clubs, men’s sheds and local emergency services receive income of over $1 million in providing services such as set-up and car parking.
  • The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program funding complements the Australian Government’s existing $20 million Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program and will be provided under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund.
  • The $2.7 million for Field Days is in addition to the $36.3 million for Agricultural Shows.
  • Field Days could be eligible to claim reimbursement 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.