Federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud was in Brisbane on Tuesday to announce a second round of funding to support agricultural shows and field days around the country.
“The Federal Government today is committing $25 million towards agricultural shows across this country – to those shows that have been shut down by COVID. Twelve million will go to the rural shows here in the Ekka, Canberra, Melbourne, and Adelaide, to help them get through. And then $9 million will go to rural and regional shows to help them pay for their ongoing costs. And $4 million will go to the Showman’s Guild to make sure that the rides continue not only at the Ekka, but right across the country“, Mr Littleproud said.
Under Round 1 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program the government provided $34.5 million to 378 show societies and field day organisers who cancelled in 2020.
Round 2 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program (to 30 June 2022) will provide a further $21 million for the operational costs of shows and field days cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19.
Note, the funding includes field days – which are essentially outdoor expos.
All of a sudden it appears the federal government can assist with payments to some individual state events yet other events (especially in the cities), that are equally affected and were unable to run, are not compensated. Why is there a double standard?
The association representing the show circuit is Agricultural Shows Australia and representing field days is the AAFDA. Do these associations have more clout than the business events associations that represent far more in expos alone, let alone conferences and business meetings?
Surely the business events sector has suffered much greater losses due to event cancellations due to lockdowns. Why is it that rural expos can get funding but city expos, which arguably have far greater cost bases and exposure to risk cannot.
I lost $100,000 on an expo cancelled in June due to the NSW COVID restrictions. I was unable to claim compensation for the direct show costs on that event so I’m wondering if it was run in Goulburn, maybe I could?