Showgrounds in line for facelift
I HAVE long advocated for a showgrounds infrastructure fund so I was delighted to see the Prime Minister's announcement of the Australian Government's $20-million Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program (AgShows).
Local show societies and state and territory agricultural show peak bodies can apply for grants of up to $500,000 to upgrade, maintain, buy or build new showground infrastructure and attractions.
I have contacted all show societies in my State electorate of Lismore to encourage them to check their eligibility and have offered to support their projects should they proceed with applications.
These include Lismore, Nimbin, Kyogle, Woodenbong, Bonalbo, Urbenville, Tenterfield and Murwillumbah, all of which would have priority projects on their books but may not have been successful in accessing other grant funding.
The Commonwealth's $20-million commitment is over two years. Applications for this targeted competitive grant program opened on Friday October 4 and will close on Friday December 13 2019.
More information is available at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/infrastructure/ag-shows.
I recently attended the 100th Nimbin Show and the 110th Kyogle Show, and despite the twin challenges of drought and bushfires, the resilience of our farming sector was on full display.
I also inspected the Urbenville Showground, which sits just inside the Kyogle Shire boundary, with members of the Urbenville Reserve Trust. I am supporting the trust's funding application under the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 3.
The project includes replacement of three existing buildings and arena fencing, addition of solar panels and water tanks, and establishing a primate camping ground, including a new amenities block, camp kitchen and extra covered seating.
Lismore's North Coast National this week celebrates 134 years of the tradition of bringing the best of the country to town and strengthening these links in the modern era.
I congratulate Show Society President John Gibson, his committee, hard-working Secretary Mark Bailey and all sponsors on staging what is sure to be another highly successful three-day event.