During the 2019 election campaign The Liberal and National Government released a policy document to Showcase Agriculture which promised to establish a new $20 million Regional Agricultural Show Development grant program that will help keep agricultural shows running, help bring communities together and help bridge the divide between country and city.

A copy of the Nationals policy document is available here.

ASA representatives met with Senator The Hon Bridget McKenzie in August to confirm the Government’s commitment and enthusiasm for this program and to offer ASA’s advice and contribution towards the development of the criteria and guidelines for the grant process.

Prior to meeting with the Minister, ASA held a tele-conference on 5th July with Regional Members to request and discuss possible criteria that should be included in the development of a framework which could be presented to Government for consideration.

A framework document was submitted to the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Policy Division on 2nd September which covered some overarching assumptions, eligibility criteria, and application process and assessment aspects of the grant application.

Chairman Rob Wilson, David Peters and Scott Gadd met with the Department’s representatives in Canberra on 4th September to negotiate and agree on the majority of the important aspects of the grant criteria and guidelines. Subsequently, a number of issues and program definitions have been referred to the Minister for approval.

A further tele-conference call with ASA Member representatives was held on Wednesday 11th September to communicate the progress of the negotiation and to provide the opportunity for any further comments or suggestions around the program guidelines and eligibility criteria.

It is anticipated that the Minister will approve the guidelines as soon as practical ready for a formal announcement of the program early October.