Camden Show welcomes news government will support agricultural shows

Iconic: Agricultural shows like the Camden Show are in for a boost with the government announcing funding grants. Picture: Simon Bennett
Iconic: Agricultural shows like the Camden Show are in for a boost with the government announcing funding grants. Picture: Simon Bennett

The Camden Show Society has welcomed news the federal government has allocated $36 million to help agricultural shows across the country recover from the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown.

The popular show, which is held annually two weeks before Easter, could not go ahead this year as virus restrictions were enforced just as the event was due to kick off.

Camden Show Society secretary Jo Martin said the organisation was very pleased with the announcement.

"It's fantastic news and a very welcome initiative," she said.

"Agricultural shows play a huge role in our communities and the support to be able to help continue on with them is wonderful."

The funding includes $10 million in operational support for local show societies.

Shows will be able to claim up to $10,000 if their attendance last year was less than 2000, up to $15,000 if their attendance was between 2000 and 4999 and up to $70,000 if their attendance was over 5000.

Ms Martin said last Camden Show had seen increases in attendance over the last few years, and "approximately 45,000 people came to the last show".

This puts Camden in the highest claim bracket.

About $26 million will be offered in operational support for Royal Agricultural Show societies which can additionally claim for unrecoverable costs associated with preparing for the cancelled show.

Shows cancelled in 2020 because of Covid-19 will be eligible and they will not have to compete for assistance.

Eligible reimbursement costs are expected to include bank fees, utilities, rates, insurance, fire alarms and equipment, cleaning supplies, telecommunications, IT system licencing costs, website costs, state/national show body affiliation fees and rent.

Ms Martin said the society would apply for grants.

"The grant will definitely be of assistance to recoup the loss from this year's shutdown... and will enable us to prepare for the 2021 Camden Show on March 19 and 20," she said.

"We also recognise and appreciate all the support from our local community, particularly from sponsors, volunteers and members who stood by us."