Footy And Farming Kick Goals For Regional Victoria

08 May 2017

Aussie Rules football and our farming communities will come together this weekend in a celebration of our primary producers, regional communities and volunteer organisations.

The Round 8 match between Essendon and Geelong will be dedicated to country football and netball clubs and the people behind the clubs – so often the lifeblood of regional communities.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaala Pulford today announced that the Andrews Labor Government are backing the ‘Country Festival AFL Game’ to be played on Saturday 13 May 2017 at the MCG, with members from the AFL, the Essendon and Geelong Football Club, volunteer and farmer organisations.

The game is part of national Volunteer Week as a tribute to the thousands of volunteers behind Victoria’s many regional football and netball clubs.

The blockbuster event will include a new pre-match on ground ceremony, huge country festival, ute muster and farmers market in Yarra Park headlined by a twilight concert featuring Australian music stars Lee Kernaghan, Shannon Noll and Sara Storer, as well as the best country footballers playing in a curtain raiser on the MCG.

The Labor Government will be formally named as a match day partner with the Country Fire Authority, the State Emergency Service, Life Saving Victoria, Royal Flying Doctors, Victorian Farmers Federation and AFL Victoria.

Essendon and Geelong, in partnership with the AFL and the MCC will provide more than 5000 free tickets to regional communities across Victoria to attend the match.

While the ‘Country Game’ is played in Melbourne, the Labor Government is getting on with bringing AFL to regional Victoria. Ballarat will take centre stage on 22 August when the first AFL Premiership League game is played at Eureka Stadium.

The Eureka Stadium Precinct Redevelopment Project will bring thousands of people to regional Victoria to watch the 2016 premiership winners, the Western Bulldogs play Port Adelaide, which is set to provide a major economic boost to Ballarat and surrounds.

The completed redevelopment will deliver 5,000 undercover seats and a total stadium capacity of more than 11,000. The project is expected to draw another 21,000 visitors to Ballarat each year and increase annual tourism spending in the city by up to $3.6 million.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“Aussie Rules is synonymous with regional and rural Victoria and so often the lifeblood of the community.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is thrilled to back the Country Festival AFL game between Essendon and Geelong that puts our farmers and regional communities front and centre.”

“With the Country AFL Round an integral part of National Volunteer Week, it is a fitting tribute to the thousands of volunteers behind Victoria’s hundreds of regional football and netball club.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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