Gympie Show Society will get its money, says Minister
THE Gympie Show Society would still be getting its annual grant to cover the cost of insurance for the 2021 Show, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said this week following a visit to the Gympie showgrounds by shadow minister Ann Leahy.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett introduced Mrs Leahy to members of the Gympie Show Society and Gympie Regional Council on Wednesday, and said they were concerned at reports the normal figures of more than $2 million-plus for agricultural shows did not seem to be in the State Government’s budget.
“I have no idea what the Member is talking about nor, I suspect, does she, although she has been set straight on this issue several times in the media so maybe it’s just old-fashioned mischief making,” Mr Hinchliffe said yesterday.
“The Palaszczuk Government is absolutely committed to Queensland’s show societies and we recognise the important role they play not just for their workforces but for their communities each and every year,” he said.
“This year has been different, yes, but as far as show society grants go, it’s business as usual, with $2.1 million again scheduled to be distributed, just as they were last year.
“Further to that, societies who were unable to use their grants from the past financial year because of the pandemic have been able to keep them as long as they can show the money was used for showground maintenance and improvements.”
The Gympie Show Society announced in March that the show could not and would not go on this year, after the Federal Government banned gatherings of more than 500 people as part of the coronavirus response.
There has not been a year without a local Show in Gympie since the Second World War.
The Show was already looking a bit wobbly before that though, and had opted late last year to forsake the role of Show Society secretary and assistant, and instead rely more heavily on volunteers, in order to save money.
The new Showgrounds markets have since proved a gold mine, and Show Society chief ring steward John Warren, said this week while meeting with Mrs Leahy and Mr Perrett, the markets’ success had saved the Show.
“There definitely will be a Gympie Show next year,” Mr Warren said.
“We need a clear statement from the Local Government Minister,” he said. “We would like to see that funding that is missing.”