SHOW FUND­ING SNUB SLAMMED

Tasmanian Country - - FRONT PAGE - HE­LEN KEMP­TON

A TAS­MA­NIAN agri­cul­tural show so­ci­ety has re­newed hope of build­ing new in­fra­struc­ture de­spite ini­tially not meet­ing fed­eral grant el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria the lo­cal MP has la­belled a joke.

The Brighton Show is one of the big­gest agri­cul­tural shows on the Tas­ma­nian cal­en­dar but it was deemed to be too close to Ho­bart to qual­ify for a grant of up to $500,000 un­der a fed­eral $20 mil­lion fund to bol­ster agri­cul­tural events across Aus­tralia.

How­ever, this week Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture Minister Brid­get McKen­zie’s of­fice con­firmed the Brighton Show could still ap­ply for the fund­ing.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Lyons, La­bor’s Brian Mitchell, said the Brighton Show com­mit­tee had been look­ing for­ward to ap­ply­ing for fund­ing to help with its long-planned facelift of its fa­cil­i­ties at the Pontville Show­ground.

How­ever, the fund­ing model is based on data from the Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics, which in­cludes Brighton in the Greater Ho­bart area.

Prime Minister Scott Mor­ri­son an­nounced the fund at this year’s Burnie show.

Brighton Show pres­i­dent Ge­off Jack­son said the or­gan­i­sa­tion wanted to build more sheds to house an­i­mals and dis­plays.

“We class our­selves as a coun­try event as do the 18,000 peo­ple who came through the gate last year,” he said.

“Be­cause Brighton is on the out­skirts of Ho­bart we miss out on ap­ply­ing for fund­ing while Launce­s­ton and Burnie, clas­si­fied as ci­ties, do not. We are the only show in Tas­ma­nia to miss out.

“We are run by vol­un­teers and our logo is ‘a lit­tle bit of coun­try’,” Mr Jack­son said.

Mr Mitchell will be cam­paign­ing for the grant zoning rules to be changed so the Brighton Show does not miss out due to its prox­im­ity to the state cap­i­tal.

“Ac­cord­ing to the Mor­ri­son Gov­ern­ment the Brighton Show is not ru­ral enough to be el­i­gi­ble for fund­ing un­der its Agri­cul­ture Show Com­mu­nity Grants pro­gram,” the MP said.

“The Brighton Show is the big­gest and most tra­di­tional agri­cul­tural shows you will find with sheep, cat­tle and goats and wares of the CWA ma­jor at­trac­tions each year.

“To claim Brighton is less ru­ral and Launce­s­ton is a joke,” Mr Mitchell said.

Some Tas­ma­nian shown have been face­ing tough times, with the Devon­port Show no longer run­ning and the Royal Launce­s­ton Show cut back to one day from two.

The Brighton Show will be held on Sun­day at Pontville from 8.30am to 4pm in­clud­ing cat­tle, sheep, goats, poul­try, home in­dus­tries and horse classes. Cost is $10, $25 for a fam­ily, $5 for chil­dren six to 16.

We class our­selves as a coun­try event as do the 18,000 peo­ple who came through the gate last year GE­OFF JACK­SON

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