Member for New England Barnaby Joyce says new funding for our much-treasured agricultural showgrounds features a two-fold benefit for drought-ravaged parts of his electorate.
Show societies are being offered grants of up to $500,000 to upgrade, maintain, buy or build new local infrastructure and attractions.
The funding is being delivered under the Australian Government’s $20 million Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program (AgShows).
“Our rural and regional communities need all the help they can muster during this time of prolonged drought and grants like this will help ease the strain,” Mr Joyce said.
“Not only will the town showground receive new a pavilion or grandstand, the building and construction work that is created will drive new wealth back into small communities and local businesses doing it tough.
“Just like the Drought Communities Program, which I helped establish and has already delivered $1 million to every council in the New England, the AgShows grants will generate jobs, sales and income for our drought-affected towns.”
Grants could be used for repairs or upgrades of existing showground facilities such as outdoor seating, new infrastructure such as an amenities building, assets like portable sheep holding yards or attractions such as an agricultural photography exhibit.
Agriculture Minister, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said country shows were part of our national identity and were thriving hubs of local industry, commerce, culture and community.
“They showcase the pinnacle and pride of local produce that often spans generations of tradition and know-how,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Most of the 580 agricultural shows held annually in Australia are regionally based and they bring communities closer together especially in times of drought and other hardships.”
Applications close 13 December 2019, with successful applicants expected to be announced in the first half of 2020.
For more details and to apply visit GrantConnect at www.grants.gov.au