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Monday, 14 October 2019
Page: 3923


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (10:56): It is country show season, and I must say that, across the electorate of Grey, there will be 19 country shows held this year, every one of them a celebration of what we do in the country. In recent decades, shows have been under siege somewhat, but I am seeing a regeneration at the moment. There are new committees, younger committees and new people coming in with new ideas, and they're adapting shows to be more relevant to the 21st century. I think we're seeing the crowds come back.

On the weekend, I attended Cummins Show, a show that a few years ago looked as though it may be on its last legs. The crowds were good and the new marquees fabulous, and it gave me great pleasure to open the renovations on the Cummins Show pavilion, with $38½ thousand coming from the BBRF. They are very pleased with the result, and I am sure that facility will get used for other things throughout the year.

I've also attended the Jamestown Show—a show that is going so well it has had to go from one day of operation to two days. There, of course, the federal government has also invested in a new shearing facility—one that will be used year round to train shearers. There were big crowds at the Jamestown Show.

I attended the Wudinna show, where in fact they have a new permanent marquee courtesy of the Drought Communities Program.

But right across the region we are seeing this rejuvenation, which is very encouraging. I had a friend say to me not that long ago: 'Shows are dead. Why would you put money into it?' I said: 'You're wrong, and the reason you don't understand is that it's too long since you've been to one. If you get to the show and see what's going on, you will see this new energy.' That's why the federal government has put $20 million on the line for show infrastructure. That grant line is open at the moment. It closes in November. I'm really encouraging my show societies—my AH&F—societies to look around their ground, see what it is they really need and get some bids in. I suspect there will be a lot of demand on the money, but good projects will find a way to get funded. Of course, if they don't get funds through the shows programs, they are, of course, good things to put up for the BBRF programs or even the community support programs.

So all of those things are seeing the federal government re-investing in the regions at a time when a lot of Australia is under drought stress. I understand that. And so, once again, shows play that important part. They bring people together to talk about the season and talk about the good things that are going on in their lives like the improvement in the genetics in the sheep flock across Australia. All those things are good, positive things. It makes me proud to be part of those communities. I'm really pleased to attend those shows. I won't get to 19, but I'll do my best.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Zimmerman ): Order! In the accordance with standing order 193, the time for member's statements has expired.