Pat Conaghan MP

Show societies have one week to go to apply for assistance

Agricultural Show Societies have one week left in which to apply for grants of up to $70,000 to recoup some of the revenue lost this year due to show cancellations resulting from COVID-19.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said agricultural show societies and field day organisers have until 9 October 2020 to apply for the one-off payment.

“Our local Agricultural Show Societies and their volunteers have experienced a really tough year,” he said.

“Many had advertised their 2020 shows before having to cancel the events to comply with necessary coronavirus restrictions. Meanwhile fixed costs like utilities and insurance costs have continued to mount.

“Our Federal Liberal and Nationals Government values agricultural shows because they bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and boost our local economies.

“This is why our Government has allocated $39 million to the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program to alleviate some of the financial burden caused by COVID-19.”

Coffs Harbour Show Society President Christopher Pearson said this grant would help his group.

“Our show society has had utility costs mounting of between $7,000 and $10,000 this year and we have made no income due to our show being cancelled,” he said.

“I welcome this one-off reimbursement grant as I know it will go a way towards alleviating our society’s cash flow pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Show societies forced to cancel their 2020 show can apply for a grant online by visiting the Australian Government’s Community Grants Hub or GrantConnect. Funds will be reimbursed for eligible expenses, with the maximum grant value based upon the size of the show or field day. Shows with less than 2,000 attendees last year will be able to claim up to $10,000; shows with between 2,000 and 4,999 attendees will be able to claim up to $15,000; and shows with over 5,000 attendees will be able to claim up to $70,000.

For more information on the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program contact the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s agricultural show programs section on agshowgrants@agriculture.gov.au or (02) 6272 5603.

Funding for this program has been provided under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund, led by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, which is helping regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Mr Conaghan first announced this grant assistance on 25 June 2020.

ENDS

Media contact: Liz Spry 0418 928 744