The Victorian Coalition Government has invited almost 120 agricultural and pastoral societies to apply for grants to help upgrade their facilities.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said applications for the Coalition Government's 2012/13 Agricultural and Pastoral Society Grants Program were now open for all show societies across the state.
"The program provides grants up to $10,000 to develop showground facilities, up to $8,000 to upgrade showground amenities and up to $5,000 for associated society activities," Mr Walsh said.
"Show societies can apply for more than one grant to supply better display facilities, improve amenities or enhance business activities."
The grants are conditional on the basis that the show society will contribute $1 to the cost of a project for every $2 provided by the Coalition Government.
Mr Walsh encouraged small societies in particular to apply for funding this year. He said more than $2 million in grants had been provided to show societies since the year 2000.
Last year $308,769 in grants were distributed to upgrade and develop showground facilities across the state, including:
- $10,000 to purchase 15 new display cases for exhibition purposes at Bendigo;
- $10,000 to upgrade electrical supply boxes at Geelong;
- $10,000 to upgrade the grandstand at Rupanyup;
- $8,661 to redevelop the showjumping area at Maffra;
- $7,656 to upgrade power facilities at Wangaratta's showground;
- $4,215 to concrete the luncheon room/pavilion at Clunes; and
- $4,206 to upgrade facilities at Ballarat.
"Agricultural shows and field days are a highlight of local social and agricultural calendars and are an integral part of rural communities across Victoria," Mr Walsh said.
"The Agricultural and Pastoral Society Grants Program recognises the important role these societies play in fostering a sense of community."
More information on agricultural and pastoral society grants can be found at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/farming/grants or by phoning the Department of Primary Industries Customer Service Centre on 136 186. Applications close on August 31.