Drought and bushfires have not stopped country shows from going ahead in the Cootamundra Electorate with the NSW Government committing cash sponsorships for seven shows in the region that bring communities together and give business a boost.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said sponsorships of up to $5,000 from the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package have been or are soon to hit organisers’ bank accounts, allowing local shows to be staged in 2020.

Ms Cooke said events such as the Woodstock Memorial, Gundagai, Cowra, Weethalle, Ungarie, Koorawatha and Illabo Shows will be able to use the sponsorship money to meet immediate costs and employing local contractors, equipment hire businesses, suppliers and talent.

“Our country shows are such an important part of our communities. They are times where we can come together to celebrate our agricultural production, the talented people in our regions and let our hair down.”

“But they can be expensive to put on, particularly when so many of our communities are dealing with ongoing drought and the financial impact of bushfires.

“I am so pleased the NSW Government is supporting these events throughout the Cootamundra Electorate and urge other show societies to apply for this funding.”

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery said sponsorships have now been committed to 100 Country Shows which means the show will go on for thousands of regional NSW competitors, champions, performers and sellers living in regional NSW.

“Country shows have always been a part of the social fabric of regional communities and long standing traditions where family, neighbours and friends to come together and celebrate their community and have some fun,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The funding provided also means champions and competitors who have spent years pursuing their passion, whether it be wood chopping, show jumping or baking, can earn the local performance points needed to compete at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.”

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said organising committees in bushfire and drought affected regions are using their sponsorship funding to host community events, such as barbecues or family days where locals can compete or relax and socialise at little or no cost.

“The Nimmitabel Show was postponed twice due to bushfires and extreme weather and we have worked with organisers to fund an event that will still give locals some of the fun activities and judging competitions they’d usually enjoy at a show,” Mrs Taylor said.

“These shows give people an opportunity to escape the daily pressures they are facing and I thank and congratulate the show committees, countless volunteers and exhibitors across the state who are working tirelessly to help these cherished community events go on.”

The NSW Government’s Country Shows sponsorship program is funded by the $170 million Drought Stimulus Package. For further information about the NSW Government’s Drought Stimulus Package, go to www.nsw.gov.au/droughtstimuluspackage.