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The Federal Government is helping organisers of Gippsland agricultural shows and field days struggling with the financial impact of the coronavirus.

Local MP Darren Chester said a new $2.7 million funding pool would help officials to meet ongoing expenses following a marked decline in revenue.

“Like many of our agricultural shows, our field days have also had to cancel their 2020 events due to restrictions to combat the coronavirus,” Mr Chester said.

“Our agricultural field days boost local economic activity and provide a platform to showcase the latest innovations and agricultural technology.

“Two of the most prominent events in our region are the East Gippsland Field Days and Farm World at Lardner Park. Both events attract thousands of people and generate support for local Gippsland businesses.”

Mr Chester said the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program would provide a one-off reimbursement to agricultural show societies and agricultural field day organisers.

“Field days could be eligible to claim reimbursement costs for expenses including bank fees, utilities, rates, insurance, fire alarms and equipment, cleaning supplies and telecommunications” 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 and knowledge they provide to our farmers and primary producers.

“This support will help these organisations through this difficult period so they can continue to showcase innovation and support our regional communities into the future.”

The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Fields Days program funding complements the Australian Government’s existing $20 million Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program and will be provided under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund.

An additional $100,000 one-off grant will be provided to the Association of Agricultural Field Days Australasia to support its annual conference scheduled for April 30 to May 2 next year and provide training and assistance for members on recovery management planning.

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