Wimmera, Lucindale Field Days off

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Field Day organisers cancel March events over coronavirus fears, as government stumps up cash for organising bodies.

Wimmera, Lucindale Field Days off
Goldacres exhibited its new ATrac tractor at the 2020 Wimmera Machinery Field Days


Organisers of the Wimmera Machinery Field Days (WMFD) in Victoria and the South East Field Days (SEFD) in South Australia have called off their 2021 events, citing concerns about the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is the second SEFD to be cancelled due to the disease, as the 2020 event, based in the SA town of Lucindale, was also called off shortly before it was due to start in March this year.

"It is with regret that the Lucindale Lions have cancelled the 2021 Field Days due to the ongoing pandemic threat," organisers wrote in a Facebook update.

"We hope to see you all on 18th & 19th March 2022."

The WMFD committee wrote that the 2021 event had been cancelled due to ongoing concerns, restrictions, lockdowns, border closures and future uncertainties due to COVID-19.

"We were looking forward to being the first major agricultural field days for next year, coming off the back of what is looking to be yet another great farming season for the Wimmera," organisers wrote.

"Unfortunately COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the events industry and trying to forge ahead for March next year presented high risk and uncertainty."

"We look forward to a bigger and better Field Days in March 2022."

The decisions follow a Federal government announcement of a $2.7 million boost for agricultural field days – in addition to $36.3 million for agricultural show societies to help them deal with cash-flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says all ag show and field day organisers that cancelled their event in 2020 will be eligible for the one-off investment and "will not have to compete for assistance."

"The initiative is part of our Government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which is supporting regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the pandemic."

The funds are likely to be used to reimburse costs related to utilities, rates, insurance, website maintenance, cleaning, telecommunications costs and show body affiliation fees.

An additional $100,000 one-off grant will be provided to the Association of Agricultural Field Days Australasia to support its annual conference scheduled for 30 April 2021 to 2 May 2021 and provide training and assistance for members on recovery management planning.

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