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The Show must go on in 2021

SHOW committees and societies across New South Wales are encouraged not to cancel events in 2021, for the social and economic good of their communities.

The call from Northern Tablelands MP and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall comes after the State Government recently announced COVID-safe guidelines to allow locals and visitors to once again attend country shows, in their thousands.

Mr Marshall said with nearly all shows across the Northern Tablelands cancelled this year due to drought, bushfires and the pandemic it was vital shows returned in 2021.

“Much of our region is in drought recovery for the first time in years, so by holding the show once again our farmers will have the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and showcase the amazing food and fibre they produce,” Mr Marshall said.

“I know some show committees in our region have already decided to postpone their events next year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, however for those who are yet to decide, I say the show must go on.

“From January 2021, country shows will be able to proceed with up to 5,000 people in attendance and as is the case for most public spaces in NSW, it will fall on individual patrons, not the show committees, to adhere to social distancing if they to attend.

“A limit will be in place for the number of attendees, depending on venue size with one person per four square metres.

“Organisers will have to complete a COVIDSafe Event Plan and control access at entry points to minimise crowding.

“Show committees are also encouraged to use the Service NSW COVIDSafe QR codes to enable safe management of crowd numbers and contact tracing.

“The show is one of the most important social events on our calendar and draws crowds from across the region, giving local businesses exposure and keeping money flowing through our town – and I have no doubt it will give our towns a much needed boost.”

Mr Marshall said the during the pandemic the State Government had invested $2,321,727 to improve local showgrounds across the region and provided a further $50,027 to help show committees cover costs.

“Our local showground managers have worked tirelessly over the past six months upgrading the grounds and our 2021 shows provide an opportunity for the community to benefit from those new and improved facilities,” he said.

“Again, I encourage all show committees to seriously consider holding an event next year, even if it is just for one day, to help give their communities something to look forward to and aid in the transition back to a level of pre-COVID normality.”

Guidelines and checklists for country shows will be available online at www.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19.

Media Release: Thursday, November 12, 2020