Several agricultural show societies across the Mid Coast have received a share of a $34 million federal government funding package.
Taree's Manning River Agricultural and Horticultural Society will received $15,000, Wingham Show Society $11,400, Bulahdelah Show Society $5065 and Gloucester Agricultural, Horticultural and Pastoral Association $15,000.
Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the first payments under the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program will roll out before Christmas.
"Two months ago, the government launched this package to reimburse eligible costs for shows and field days who had to cancel because of COVID-19," Dr Gillespie said.
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The Sydney Royal Easter Show will benefit by $15.1 million.
Others Lyne electorate recipients include Stroud Show Association $17,615; Camden Haven Pastoral Agricultural Horticultural and Industrial Society $15,000; Dungog Agricultural and Horticultural Association $10,000; and Wauchope Show Society $58,390.
Chair of Agricultural Shows Australia Dr Rob Wilson said show societies forced to cancel in 2020 were positive about hosting again next year.
"With some states already giving the go-ahead to shows next year, subject to COVID conditions being met, this funding will ensure hundreds of societies can start planning now."
"This Australian Government support has helped provide certainty and a renewed sense of optimism ahead of 2021 after a difficult year for everyone, especially our 50,000 volunteers," Dr Wilson said.
- Agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy each year but rely largely on financial assistance from supporters and attendees.
- There are 580 agricultural shows nationwide, which attract six million visitors and are serviced by 50,000 volunteers.
- The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program funding is being provided under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund for regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
- Successful applicants are eligible to claim reimbursements on costs including bank fees, utilities, rates, insurance, fire alarms and equipment, cleaning supplies, telecommunications, IT system licensing costs, website costs, state/national show body affiliation fees and rent.
- The program is part of a broader $60 million agricultural support package that includes the $20 million Regional Agricultural Shows Development program.
- The Country Women's Association Tea Room expect to sell more than 50,000 scones at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.