Member for Farrer Sussan Ley has announced new funding to boost planning and preparation for next year’s Rainbow on the Plains Festival to be held at Hay (27-29 March).

The grant of $46,000 is among 30 projects included in the latest round of funding for regional communities through the government’s Tackling Tough Times Together program.

Ms Ley said the drought-related funding grants are aimed to help keep money flowing through local shops and suppliers, boost tourism, retain jobs and create employment opportunities.

“While we are all hoping the drought is history by next March, this cash boost more than doubles the Festival committee’s budget, helping them market and build up the program for next year’s event.”

Established in 2018, ‘Rainbow on the Plains’ was originally planned as a simple get together by a group of friends to watch the 40th anniversary of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

It has since grown to become a wonderful rural get together, promoting community support and inclusion, celebrating with a street parade and party, alongside various events over three days.

Festival Executive Officer Jade Auldist said it was great to see our vision for this festival gaining momentum and the funding will allow Rainbow on the Plains to really ramp up into something special.

“We will soon be making announcements about high profile artists and shows, which have only been made possible by this grant.”

“Building the festival is important to spread the message of acceptance throughout our region, but in times of drought is vital for the local economy and the businesses in Hay that we want to see survive.”

$1m is being funded under Round 14 of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, part of $7b in ongoing and future Australian Government support for regions affected by drought.

Are you eligible for drought support? Go to the link at