Country shows will go ahead across regional NSW despite crippling drought and bush fire devastation with the NSW Government to sponsor the popular agricultural events that boost business and community spirit.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor today announced sponsorship grants of up to $5,000 are available for shows in regional NSW from the $170 million Drought Stimulus Package.
Mr Barilaro said drought and bush fires have prompted the cancellation of more than a dozen country shows in recent months and government sponsorships would assist organisers of future shows in 2020 with costs associated with putting on the events.
“In drought regions local businesses are struggling to find the money they’d usually provide for sponsorships, and we’ve seen how bush fires on the South Coast resulted in cancelled shows where showgrounds became evacuation centres,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Country shows draw huge crowds which gives local businesses exposure and a chance to showcase products or increase sales, creating work for suppliers, keeping money flowing through towns.
“A morale boost and the additional economic stimulus provided by shows is what our regional communities need right now and we will be working with show organisers to get money out the door as quickly as possible to avoid further cancellations.”
Mrs Taylor said organisers could use the sponsorship money to employ local contractors, hire local equipment or for other show-related expenses.
“Shows bring together all the best things about a community, they give people a reason to come together and have fun, whether that’s cheering at a wood chopping event, competing for the best raspberry jam or visiting the livestock sheds,” Mrs Taylor said.
“As we deal with the devastating impact of bush fires and drought, it is going to be important for people to have a way to escape the pressures they are facing.
“Ensuring country shows go ahead and bring communities together is a way we can lift the mood in regional towns and support the mental wellbeing of their communities.”
Mr Barilaro said that with drought having affected most of the state in 2019 and bush fires having touched many areas of the state, every show society in regional NSW will be able to apply for funding for their country show.
“We are already working with bush fire affected families and businesses to ensure people can access assistance being offered by local councils, the NSW Government and Federal Government,” Mr Barilaro said.
Applications will be accepted from show societies in regional areas. To apply for sponsorship for your show society, go to https://rgf.smartygrants.com.au/CountryShowsSponsorship.
For up to date information about the NSW Government’s Bush Fire Recovery effort, go to http://www.service.nsw.gov.au.
For further information about the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package, go to http://www.nsw.gov.au/droughtstimuluspackage.