Thursday, 3 September 2020
Agricultural Field Days
Just a few weeks ago, I'd say about five or six weeks ago, the federal government announced support for country rural shows to compensate for the fact that virtually all of them have been cancelled this year due to COVID and they have ongoing expenses, whether it be insurance, water or electricity. They are able to retrospectively claim for costs that they incur just keeping the doors open, if you like, because we want them all to be back next year.
The last couple of days we announced that we are extending the same kind of support for agricultural field days, and that's a very important marker for me in my electorate of Grey. We have two large field days that operate in the electorate of Grey which basically aim at the big end of farming. It's the broadacre agricultural sector of South Australia that come to these two field days. One is held on the Yorke Peninsula at Paskeville and the other one is held at Cleve on Eyre Peninsula. They're biennial events that alternate. This year it was to be the Eyre Peninsula's field days. Unfortunately, they've been cancelled, so it's going to be four years between Eyre Peninsula field days, and of course they continue to incur costs, just like every other site.
Field days, like showgrounds, often have a lot of infrastructure on them—sheds and things that need to be insured. They've become very large events. We expect crowds in the vicinity of 20,000 to 40,000 at these events. There is a lot of by-product. Machinery and things like new technologies, electronics, energy technologies and ag science are on show at the field days for the big end of town. To the wider rural community, we have things like boarding schools, tool shops, electronic wares, fashions and cooking demonstrations—right down the line—so there's a lot of interest for all the people in the family. They're great events. The Eyre Peninsula field days will now be able to claim expenses.
One thing I will have to bring to the minister's attention is that I understand it's a 12-month program, but this is a two-year deferral of the field day. It's actually four years between income events. I believe I will be able to take a reasonable kind of argument to the minister on that case but, in any case, there is some support in the pipeline. They can be dead sure the member for Grey will be in their corner batting for them. It was the obvious thing to do after we supported agricultural shows, but even though it may be obvious I can tell you it is most welcome.