‘Fiver for the Field Days’ drought incentive

Entry price for the 2019 East Gippsland Field Days will be cut to $5 for this year as part of an incentive to boost community spirits while East Gippsland endures prolonged drought conditions.

The East Gippsland Field Days is an iconic event on the East Gippsland rural event calendar proudly run by the Lindenow Lions Club since its inception in 1986.

East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor, Cr Natalie O’Connell announced today that council and the Field Days committee had come to an arrangement to reduce the usual adult entry price from $18 to $5 as a once-off stimulator for the rural sector and broader community. Children 16 and under will be free.

The reduction will be subsidised by the East Gippsland Shire Council supported by East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, East Gippsland Water and Southern Rural Water.

“We wanted to find a way to reduce the cost of entry to the East Gippsland Field Days so as to encourage more farmers, their families and associated farm businesses to attend, but we also wanted to ensure that the Lindenow Lions Club do not lose any of their fundraising efforts, which we know they invest back into East Gippsland communities,” Cr O’Connell said

Chair of the East Gippsland Field Days, Ron Alexander, described ‘Fiver for the Field Days’ as a “fantastic initiative”. “We’re thrilled to be on board and with exhibitor numbers still rolling in and an action-packed program across the two days, we look forward to welcoming thousands through the gate,” Mr Alexander said.

East Gippsland Shire Council will also sponsor a multi-agency drought support hub at the Field Days, offering farmers the opportunity to speak face-to-face with agency staff providing drought support.

Chair of the East Gippsland Drought Reference Group, Graeme Dear said a significant majority of farmers provided feedback that it would be beneficial if they had the opportunity to talk to representatives of supporting agencies face-to-face.

“The upcoming Field Days has been suggested as a perfect opportunity and we have extended an invitation for all supporting agencies to be present across the two days,” Mr Dear said.

Farmers will be provided an opportunity to refer a particular problem to the best person to help in a more timely manner and will be invited to provide direct feedback regarding what is and isn’t working.

Cr O’Connell said the mobile support hub was among a number of council initiatives to support drought-affected farmers that was achievable within current means.

“We are waiting for the Premier to respond to our request for assistance to provide a rate subsidy for farmers,” Cr O’Connell said.

“A rate subsidy is something that council cannot absorb on its own without impacts to other services and are committed to working with the state and federal governments on meaningful and direct assistance for our primary producers.”

The East Gippsland Field Days will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27 2019 at the Bairnsdale Aerodrome. Further event information is available from the Field Days website or follow on Facebook.

The mobile drought support hub will be located at the East Gippsland Shire Council sites B9-10.

Gippsland Farmer

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