Labor has confirmed it is scrapping funding for the Agriculture Shows Development Grants Program.
In Estimates week, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said $14 million in funding for Ag shows was being “reprioritised”.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce said Estimates had sadly proved Labor was taking even more money out of regional and rural Australia, with infrastructure funding for Ag shows now gone, including in the electorate of Flynn.
“We already know Labor has taken billions away from the regions, scrapping water and major infrastructure commitments,” Mr Boyce said.
“But now they are cruelly taking away the Agricultural Shows Development Grants Program funding.
“This was money to improve infrastructure for Ag shows in Flynn.
“It is another kick in the guts to Flynn, which is already struggling.”
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.
“Ag shows generate a huge $1 billion annually in economic benefits, promoting new technologies and high-quality produce.
“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.
“Labor says the funding will be redirected for other government priorities.
“Labor needs to explain why it doesn’t prioritise regional and rural Australia. It has abandoned our regional communities and taken much-needed infrastructure away.”