The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show might not be able to proceed this year but the local Show Society is focused on the future and determined to make next year’s show bigger, better and importantly, more accessible thanks to an Agricultural Show Development Grant.
Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the funding was timely given the effect of Coronavirus on this year’s event.
“The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show Society is to receive just over $100,000 in funding to allow it to install a passenger lift in the main pavilion at the Nambour Showgrounds,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Our annual show is always a big event, it brings together people from all walks of life and attracts upwards of 25,000 patrons every year so to be able to increase access for people with mobility issues is a wonderful endeavour.”
“The Show Society works tirelessly to ensure the success of its three day event each year and it is bitterly disappointing to have to cancel next month due to Coronavirus, so I am delighted to share this bit of good news.”
Sunshine Coast Show Society President Rowan O’Hara said the grant would tick a big item off their wish list.
“It’s something that we’ve had on our wish list for probably 10 years now and in that time we’ve had a lot of complaints about only having stairs, so we just couldn’t go on without the ability to allow the disabled and elderly people access to that part of the Show,” Mr O’Hara said.
“We could have applied for something different like new horse jumps, but this will help the rest of the community as well as us because people that couldn’t make it up the steps will now have the opportunity to visit the top level easily and to be able to see all those exhibits.
“It opens up that area for other community groups too. It is actually the home of Nambour Darts, so they meet there on a weekly basis and they’ve had disabled people there and have had to carry them up the stairs. So that group, and others, can expand with all ability access, so it will become a lot more usable space now.”
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said the grants would benefit both agricultural show societies and regional communities.
“Agricultural shows are the heart and soul of our regional communities. They bring and keep communities together, bridge the divide between country and city and provide a key injection into the local economy,” Minister Littleproud said.
“These events showcase the hard work and innovation that goes into producing Australia’s food and fibre.
“Upgrading show facilities means more visitors to these regional events, more local employment, and more purchases for local businesses.
“The Australian Government wants to see our agricultural shows continue to thrive, so that they can be enjoyed by Australians for generations to come,” he said.
The total project cost for the passenger lift is $140,000. The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show Society is receiving $100,402.50 from the Federal Government with the remainder unanimously voted to be taken from the Showgrounds Levy Fund.