Roving Theatrical Stilt Walkers at the Roma show 2019.
Roving Theatrical Stilt Walkers at the Roma show 2019.

Cancelled rural shows to get financial boost

LOCAL Show Societies who made the difficult decision to cancel their local shows due to COVID-19 will gain access to grant assistance to be used to improve their facilities and support local jobs.

Warrego MP Ann Leahy said she had been approached with a number of concerns over the show societies, such as Dalby, St George, Dirranbandi, Roma, Charleville, Mitchell and Cunnamulla, and said they would be able to acquit their expenditure against the Show Societies Grants Program (SSGP).

“I encourage Show Societies to use the grant funding to improve their showground facilities, and use local contractors to do the work, in turn supporting local jobs during these difficult economic times,” Ms Leahy said.

“There is no shortage of maintenance to do. Often there are ablution blocks to upgrade, pavilions to paint, more poultry cages to source, a gate that doesn’t latch or a water trough needing a new float.”

Ms Leahy said Show Society members in her electorate had raised concerns about how they would manage the grant funding when they made the responsible decision to cancel their events due to COVID 19 restrictions.

“Following my representations, Show Societies will be able to acquit their SSGP grant expenditure against eligible costs identified in the 2019-20 SSGP Program Guideline,” Ms Leahy said.

Eligible costs include:

  • agricultural show-related purchases (including show ribbons, trophies)
  • operational costs (including advertising and promotion, equipment hire/lease, health and safety, telephone, fax charges and internet, sundry expenses)
  • entertainment
  • utilities (including electricity and plumbing costs)
  • insurance costs
  • upgrade and maintenance of existing assets essential to the operation of the annual agricultural show (including cleaning and pest control)
  • upgrade and maintenance of existing showground facilities essential to the operation of the annual agricultural show.

“I know some Show Societies were very worried about expenditure they had already incurred and were unable to recover. I also know some volunteers were faced with paying debts from their personal resources during this difficult economic time,” Ms Leahy said.

Those Show Societies who choose to reschedule their show and have not yet expended their 2019-20 SSGP allocation will be provided with an extension of time which they must request by 30th April.

“I urge all Show Societies that require an extension of time to contact the Local Government Department by emailing,” Ms Leahy said.

Ms Leahy thanked all the volunteers of the local shows across the electorate for their dedication to showcasing agriculture and promoting their local show events.