The Supporting Agricultural Shows program will provide a one-off reimbursement to agricultural show societies to deal with cash flow pressures caused by COVID-19 related cancellation of agricultural shows.
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.
ASA chair Rob Wilson said the funding was much needed and will ensure agricultural and royal shows can continue after the pandemic.
Agricultural shows have been a mainstay of rural Australia for decades. They engage in activities to promote, celebrate and support regional areas and are one of the most effective ways to educate the public about agriculture and food production.
The events also assist to bridge the city-country divide and have been an integral component of rural communities for over a century, with some agricultural societies approaching their 200th year.
"These iconic events provide community connections and wellbeing as well as encouraging agricultural education through competitions and benchmarking of agricultural pursuits and produce," Wilson said.
There are 580 agricultural shows held in Australia each year which provide a significant contribution of over $1 billion to the Australian economy. About six million people, or a quarter of Australia's population, attend an agricultural show each year.
"This funding supports not only the big royal shows in each capital but right down to the small country shows, because we acknowledge the role shows play in connecting agriculture and regional Australia to metropolitan Australians," Minister Littleproud said.
This initiative is part of the Government's $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.