Struggling rural shows get massive financial boost

Published: October 18, 2021

It’s been a torrid time for rural shows and festival over the last couple of years, with Covid forcing endless cancellations and postponements.

The effects of the pandemic have even forced some to question whether many some events will ever return.

However, in recognition of the community and tourism vale that they provide, the Federal Government has just announced a $25-million support package to ensure that the shows go on.

The ABC reports that the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Day Program will be extended by $21 million this year, and there will be an a $4 million program to support showmen and women.

The head of Australia’s peak show society told the ABC that the funding was fantastic news for local and Royal shows.

Agricultural Shows Australia executive officer Katie Stanley said the organisation started lobbying the government for the funding for struggling shows earlier in the year. 

“They have been doing it very tough with no ability to generate income over this last year, and it’s wonderful to see the support of the federal government for our ag shows,” she t9old the ABC. “Around May, June we realised that all our shows coming into spring were not going to be able to take place, which for some of those shows that’s two years in a row that they have been unable to generate any income.”

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said more than 700 shows and field days had been cancelled since the start of the pandemic, including more than 250 this year.

“Agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy annually, attract more than six million patrons, and are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers and more than 4,000 showmen and women,” he said. “They deliver significant social benefits to rural and regional Australia, bringing heart, soul and a sense of pride to towns across the country.”

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J. Jones
2 months ago

Why are all Whitsunday show grounds closed to Caravanners? Having travelled up North this year we were advised that all caravans are banned in all show ground by the Council. This seems a ridiculous as all caravan parks are fully booked during the winter months and is impossible to get a spot unless you book 12 months in advance. We arrived in Bowen a day earlier than booked and were unable to get a spot. We were informed that we could not stop at the Bowen show grounds which are (beautifully maintained with hundreds of available powered sites. This does not send a very welcoming feeling and will stop a lot of grey nomads stopping in Bowen, especially as they are fining anyone who stops overnight any where. I thought the Qld Government was trying to encourage visitors to the north! The show societies are also missing out on revenue from these restrictions. Very disappointing.

2 months ago
Reply to  J. Jones

Gympie is the same. Acres of land to put caravans and motorhomes but won’t open it to the travellers. Very quick to beg for a donation from the ratepayers via the council. The caravan park in town is closed too. Travellers move on, Gympie with so many attractions both natural & man made, misses out


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