Show societies call on government for assistance
FORCED to contend with maintenance costs despite the lack of revenue, show societies all in the region said they’d welcome federal government for assistance through COVID-19.
Agriculture Shows Australia have asked for a support package to help with ongoing costs such as utilities and insurance.
“It’d be great help for us because our insurance bill alone is $23,000 odd a year,” Allora Show Society President Mark Pillar said.
“It’s a huge struggle to find that money anyway and then to lose that six months of income, well it’s just going to put a massive strain on trying to profit.”
Despite the funding granted to numerous showgrounds through David Littleproud’s Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants program organisers have many more costs to contend with for 2021.
“Any sort of assistance from our government is always going to help a non-profit organisation,” Mr Pillar said.
“If local sponsors decided to pull out there wouldn’t be a show because you don’t make money out of a show, it always ends up costing you and your nomination fees barely cover costs of trophies and stuff like that.”
“Gate taking barely covers the cost of entertainment.”
Mr Pillar said if agricultural shows weren’t to make enough profit to go ahead, there would be a damaging effect on the morale of communities.
Warwick Show Society Marketing Coordinator Teilah Mckelvey said government assistance would be ‘amazing’.
“Ultimately we rely on our events to sustain ourself and without events it is really hard, as any business we’re looking at growing now everything has come to a halt,” she said.
“It would be nice if we had federal, state and local support to collaborate and get everybody back on their feet.”
There are currently 580 agricultural shows across the country and the ASA has asked for $12.175m to keep them going in their recovery from COVID-19 cancellations.