$20 million fund to keep agricultural shows running

The Coalition government has committed $20 million over two years to support agricultural shows across Australia, to help update, build, and maintain the infrastructure at regional showgrounds.

The government is hoping that the investment will keep agricultural shows running, bring communities together, and bridge the gap between the country and the city.

Angus Taylor (right) with the Crookwell Show 2018 honorary life members, Tony Hewitt, Roger McIntosh, Kim George, Ken Hewitt and Reta Beattie.

Angus Taylor (right) with the Crookwell Show 2018 honorary life members, Tony Hewitt, Roger McIntosh, Kim George, Ken Hewitt and Reta Beattie.

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Agricultural shows in the Upper Lachlan Shire have a combined 389-year history.

The first established was the Crookwell Show in 1878, just ten years before the inaugural Taralga Show. Gunning show was later in 1902.

Since, they have been showcasing the best of the region from produce, culture, industry, and business. All three shows are eligible to apply.

"I attended Crookwell Show earlier this year: a great event for the community, showcasing local produce," said Federal Member for Hume, Angus Taylor.

"I'm sure the show society will welcome the opportunity for further funding to provide a boost for the annual show," Mr Taylor said

"Agricultural shows are part of our national identity and bring communities closer together, especially in times of drought and other hardships."

Stuart Keith, president of the Taralga Show Society said the society will more than likely apply, but the process will be highly competitive.

He said that every little bit helps.

"The shows are getting harder to run, there are more hoops to jump through and the facilities are getting run down," Mr Keith said.

"If the government really wants to help, then help the farmers more. Stop giving our money away and help the farmers. The farmers help the businesses in town and the towns are boosted by the events, but everyday it comes back to the farmers.

There are 580 annual agricultural shows held annually across the country that could be eligible, as well as state and territory agricultural show peak bodies.

Shows that collect less than $20,000 in gate receipts from each annual show can apply for funding up to $124,999. Shows that collect more than $20,000 can apply for between $125,000 and $500,000 for projects.

"Grants can be used for repair or upgrades on a range of showground related infrastructure and attractions, including grandstands, animal holding yards, agricultural exhibits or outdoor seating," Mr Taylor said.

The eligible show societies in Hume include Picton, Goulburn, Boorowa, Crookwell, Gunning, Jerrawa, Tarago and Taralga.

This funding is in addition to $720,000 for Agricultural Shows Australia to use the agricultural show network to promote the value and role of farmers.

Applications are now open and close on December 13.

  • For details on eligibility and applications, visit GrantConnect at grants.gov.au

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