The Victorian Coalition Government will support the inaugural Weekly Times Rural Lifestyle Expo in Ballarat with a $15,000 grant announced today by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan.
Mr Ryan said the small acre farming and lifestyle expo, to be held at Ballarat Showgrounds in March, would promote the Central Highlands Grampians region as a great place to live and to farm.
"The expo will showcase local produce and services and provide valuable information about sustainability, small-scale farming techniques, small and alternative livestock breeds, as well as horticulture and viticulture," Mr Ryan said.
"With practical demonstrations, expert speakers and multiple trade stalls, the expo will also serve as an important networking opportunity for local residents, hobby farmers and tree changers interested in all the benefits a rural lifestyle has to offer."
Mr Ryan said the Rural Lifestyle Expo would deliver an economic boost to the Ballarat region with many visitors expected to stay in the area and make the most of local hospitality and tourism attractions.
"Organisers estimate the expo will attract up to 150 exhibitors and more than 2,000 visitors," Mr Ryan said.
"This is a fantastic community event which will also serve as a one-stop shop for visitors to access local advice on a wide variety of rural matters."
Mr Ryan said the $15,000 Coalition Government grant would be provided to the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund's Putting Locals First Program.
"Putting Locals First is a $100 million program that encourages local action and enables regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure projects important to their own region," Mr Ryan said.
"The Coalition Government is proud to support local initiatives such as this that deliver economic benefits and drive development in regional communities."