Farrer MP Sussan Ley has 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.

Ms Ley said the funding can potentially cover some of the losses incurred by the Henty Machinery Field Days committee and is part of an overall $39m commitment to help show societies and field days deal with cash-flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations.

“With this spring shaping up as the best in years, it’s heartbreaking so many communities and organising committees have had to cancel events, but at least this funding can cover some of the fixed expenses to ensure they’re back on the calendar in 2021.

A number of local exhibitors and community groups who rely on their annual show to generate sales or raise funds contacted me to help push for this assistance, so I truly hope this money can cover some of the disappointment we’ve had this year.”

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.

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.

For more information visit the Department of Agriculture website.