Thursday, 9 March 2023
Hume Electorate: Agricultural Shows
Angus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
Show season is in full swing in Hume, and over the last few weeks I've had the opportunity to enjoy a range of shows across my electorate. Country shows are an ingrained part of the Australian culture. They're essential in promoting, celebrating and supporting our agricultural sectors, as well as our broader communities. I've been at shows in recent weeks at Crookwell, Gunning, Goulburn, Boorowa and Tarago, and I'll be heading off to the Camden show later this month.
These shows allow farmers, producers and rural communities to come together to showcase their products, produce, livestock and skills—and we're seeing fantastic skill building going on there. I give a particular shout-out to all the shearers in the shearing competitions we've seen in a range of those shows. Young shearers are getting involved in the industry. It's absolutely fantastic to see.
Shows provide a platform for networking, knowledge exchange and sharing insights—and, of course, farmers have always loved to do that. They also educate the public. It is hugely important for agriculture and rural life that the public understand where their food and fibre comes from. As communities get more and more disconnected from those sources of our food and fibre it's so important that they understand more about them.
Shows contribute significantly to the economy—and we see that in the people that they draw in, as well as the innovation and growth in the industry. They preserve our great agricultural heritage, and that is something we should all be very proud of in a region like mine and right across Australia. Our agricultural producers in regional areas are the powerhouse of the economy and that is why they're so important in attracting investment and workers to the area.
Whilst in government, we recognised the vital role that agricultural shows play in our rural communities. We backed them through the worst of the pandemic. This year we're clear from that, and that's why we're having such a wonderful show season. We did have to back them because, at the end of the day, they're supported by volunteer communities. In Hume, the Camden and Picton shows both received financial support to help them bounce back after COVID. We also invested heavily in agricultural show infrastructure through our Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program, and we need that continued support. There have been fantastic local projects like upgrades to the shearing shed arena in Gunning, which I was able to see in action when I visited a few years ago. We want to continue to see that support for agricultural shows.
I want to see the shows in my electorate get the support they need to survive and prosper into the future. They're nearly always run by dedicated volunteers, and this is very important to remember. I finish with a shout-out to all the wonderful volunteer committees right across my electorate who make their shows happen. They are tireless workers for their communities.