House debates

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Statements by Members

Henty Machinery Field Days

1:50 pm

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Women) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to take my hat off to the organisers of the Henty Machinery Field Days. For two years, southern Australia's biggest agricultural event was COVID-cancelled, but I'm delighted to tell the House that, in 2022, it's back.

Henty is a small southern New South Wales town with a population of just over 1,000. Later this month, that number will swell to 50,000, checking out the latest farm machinery and equipment, produce, agronomy, lifestyle and agribusiness products. Once again, organisers have more than 1,200 sites booked and 800 exhibitors spread across the 100-hectare site.

Of course, COVID hit local economies in every corner of the country, but equally so in country towns—some of which literally have only one big drawcard event. So we've had two years where local motels and restaurants were not booked out, the P&C missed fundraisers for their school, and pubs had beer but no-one to drink it.

But Henty's people, like farmers, are resilient. Despite drought, fires and flood, the latest ABARES forecast has agricultural exports climbing to a record $70 billion in the next year, led by wheat, beef and cotton. Like the arrival of every new spring, there is sunshine on the horizon. So, if you need some replacement Tupperware, want to check out natural-fibre fashions, grab a few cake-decorating tips or buy a new pair of boots, Henty is your spot—in 10 days time.