Mark Coulton

The NSW Nationals in the federal government have announced a $2.7 million boost for agricultural field days to ensure they can continue to showcase innovation and support regional communities after the pandemic.

NSW Nationals Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the funding will be well-received and provide a real boost to country events.

“The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program will provide a one-off reimbursement to ag show societies and ag field day organisers impacted by COVID-19,” Mr Coulton said.

“This is in addition to the $36.3 million previously announced to support ag show societies.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack said the funding was part of an overall $39 million commitment to help show societies and field days deal with cash-flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations.

“All agricultural shows and field days that have cancelled their event in 2020 because of COVID-19 will be eligible and they will not have to compete for assistance,” Mr McCormack said.

“Our agricultural field days are uniquely Australian and provide huge economic spin-offs for the local communities hosting them as well as opportunities for the businesses and services who exhibit.

“The famous Henty Machinery Field Days, near my electorate of Riverina, usually hosts up to 60,000 visitors from throughout Australia but had to be cancelled this year because of COVID-19.

“The initiative is part of our government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which is supporting regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the pandemic.”

Agriculture Minister 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,” Mr 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.

“The Nationals want to assure those communities and the dedicated volunteers who work so hard to run these events that we are with them all the way during these times – as the only party dedicated to representing regional Australia we understand that it will be agriculture leading our economic recovery.”

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