BELLINGEN Show President, Gillian Anderson, welcomed new federal funding of $2.7 million for agricultural field days to ensure they can continue to showcase innovation and support regional communities after the pandemic.
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The funding is part of an overall $39m commitment to help show societies and field days deal with cash-flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations.
This $2.7 million announcement is in addition to previously announced support for agricultural shows, and is part of our Government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, supporting regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the pandemic.
Ms Anderson said, “We are very appreciative of the help from the Federal Government.
“The Bellingen Show has been running since 1881, a few years break because of COVID will not stop us continuing into the future.
“This will help defray costs that we have incurred over the year when we had to cancel our show which would have been in May 2020.”
Minister for Agriculture 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.
All agricultural shows and field days which have cancelled their event in 2020 because of COVID-19 will be eligible and they will not have to compete for assistance.
The funding will allow shows like The Bellingen Show to be viable.
Ms Anderson told News Of The Area, “We are continuing to have our meetings, updating our strategic plan, thinking about long term planning and keeping our wonderful volunteers informed and ready for when we can once again host our local Bello Show.”
In January 2021 the Bellingen Show Committee will assess the situation and make a decision in regard to the 2021 Show.
By Sandra MOON