Nov 14, 2022 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2022

Labor has confirmed Mullumbimby Showground will lose over $100,000 previously promised by the Liberal and Nationals in Government from the Agriculture Shows Development Grants Program. 

In Estimates week, Agriculture Minister, Murray Watt, said $14 million in funding for Ag shows was being reprioritised to Labor’s priorities which we now know don’t include regional Australia. 

Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Senator Perin Davey, said Estimates had sadly proven Labor was taking even more money out of regional and rural Australia, with infrastructure funding for Ag shows now gone, including Mullumbimby. 

“We already know Labor has taken billions away from the regions, scrapping water and other major infrastructure commitments,” Senator Davey said. 

“But now they are taking away the Agricultural Shows Development Grants Program funding which was used to improve safety and accessibility at Mullumbimby Showground. 

“It is another kick in the guts to these communities which are struggling,” Senator Davey said. 

The funding was on top of $20 million previously provided for 122 shows to build new pavilions and exhibition areas, install seating, shade and weather protection, upgrade accessibility, improve public safety and animal welfare and upgrade power and energy efficiency. 

“Local agricultural shows generate a huge $1 billion annually in economic benefits, promoting new technologies and high-quality produce,” Senator Davey said. 

“For some communities and charities, agriculture shows are the financial boost they need to get them through the year. 

“They are also the driver for innovation and education, showcasing Australia’s food and fibre and supporting tourism. 

“And as we have seen this year, they are also an essential facility for emergency services to use as evacuation centres, given the range of facilities available at a showground. 

“Labor says the funding will be redirected to other Government priorities. 

“But what is more important at the present time than investing in our regional communities who have faced multiple flood events on top of bushfires and droughts. 

“Labor needs to explain why it doesn’t prioritise regional and rural Australia. It has abandoned our regional communities and has taken much-needed infrastructure away,” Senator Davey said.