• Dave Layzell MP

FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR UPPER HUNTER ELECTORATE COUNTRY SHOWS

Country show organisers across the Upper Hunter electorate will be able to make plans with certainty, thanks to a NSW Government program providing financial support to ensure these much-loved community events come back bigger and better than ever.


Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell is urging local organisers to apply for funding available as part of the $5 million Country Shows Support Package for events being staged next year.


Mr Layzell said funding can be used for a range of reasons including ensuring shows are COVID Safe, subsidising stall fees, equipment hire, upgrading show facilities or engaging locally-based artists or musicians.


“This NSW Government funding will be a welcome lifeline for our shows from Gloucester to Merriwa, Singleton to Quirindi,” Mr Layzell said.

“Whilst luck this year went the way of Stroud, Gresford and to a certain extent the Upper Hunter Show until wet weather then finally COVID restrictions trampled Muswellbrook’s attempt to reschedule the horse events.”


Funding of up to $15,000 will be available to small shows with an audience of less than 2,000 people across all event days, while medium and large shows can apply for up to $30,000 and $45,000 respectively.


“I encourage all of our show organisers to get cracking and lodge their applications,” Mr Layzell added.


“Gloucester, Dungog, Singleton, Merriwa and Quirindi have not had their annual show since 2019 and I agree with many people that a virtual show on social media just doesn’t cut it like the sights, sounds and smells of the real thing.”


Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Country Shows Support Package would provide certainty to show organisers and give them the confidence to lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods.


“It’s been a tough few years for country shows, with drought, bushfires, storms, floods and COVID-19 disrupting plans, but as they say, the show must go on and these grants will help make that happen,” Mr Toole said.


“Country shows are the heartbeat of so many rural communities – they not only celebrate the best of the best in the community but allow visitors to experience the tastes, sights and sounds of the bush.


“It’s also a big win for competitors who have spent years perfecting events like wood-chopping, show jumping or baking, as they can now focus on earning the points needed to compete at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.”


The $5 million Country Shows Support Package is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will deliver long term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.


Applications are now open and close on Friday, 29 April 2022, or when funding is exhausted. For further information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/CountryShows.