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Organisers of nine agricultural shows and field days in Gippsland forced to cancel this year’s events will receive a one-off payment from a $34 million Federal Government funding pool to help relieve cash-flow issues.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the cancellation of the events due to the coronavirus pandemic had a flow-on effect for many regional communities.

“Agricultural shows and field days are an important opportunity for people to come together in a relaxed environment, but also provide a boost to local economic activity and showcase new innovations and technology in agriculture,” Mr Chester said.

“It is important we help to secure the future of these events not only for the economic contribution they make to our community, but for the skills, knowledge and support they provide to our farmers and primary producers.”

Among the 378 agricultural shows and field day events to receive funding are: Bairnsdale Show ($8702); East Gippsland Field Days ($19,347); Farm World ($70,000); Maffra Show ($7221); Omeo Show ($1844); Sale Show ($14,485); South Gippsland Dairy Expo ($5,888); Traralgon Show ($10,000); and Yarram Show ($3987).

The one-off payment from the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program will help with expenses including bank fees, utilities, rates, insurance, fire alarms and equipment, cleaning supplies and telecommunications.

This funding is made available through the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund which supports regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program complements the existing $20 million Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants program.

Across Australia, agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy each year, attract more than 6 million patrons and are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers.

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