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File photos from previous funding announcements at Maclean Showgrounds.

$45,000 show bags for Northern Rivers show organisers

The much-loved country shows of Grafton and Maclean in May and Casino and Kyogle in October could each win new Nationals in NSW Government grants of up to $45000 to get up and running in a 2022 COVID-safe way, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

“Grants from our $5 million Country Shows Support Package can not only be used for ensuring shows are COVID Safe, but also for subsidising stall fees, equipment hire, upgrading show facilities or engaging locally-based artists or musicians,” Mr Gulaptis said.

The MP said people who haven’t been to their showground for a while will be very pleasantly surprised by what they discover.

“Through the pandemic downtime, the Nationals in NSW Government have been partnering with local show societies to deliver a series of terrific upgrades including a raft of improvements at Maclean, new toilets, seating and lighting at Grafton and fully funding Richmond Valley Council Mayor Robert Mustow’s ambitious master plan for Casino Showground.”

Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader Paul Toole said the Country Shows Support Package would provide certainty to show organisers and give them the confidence to lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods.

“It’s been a tough few years for country shows, with drought, bushfires, storms, floods and COVID-19 disrupting plans, but as they say, the show must go on and these grants will help make that happen,” Mr Toole said.

The $5 million Country Shows Support Package is part of the Nationals in NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will deliver long term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.

Applications open on Tuesday, 14 December 2021 and close on Friday, 29 April 2022, or when funding is exhausted. For further information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/CountryShows.

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