Our shows will go on in 2021

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has backed the return of shows in 2021, saying they play an important role in the psyche of towns and cities in regional NSW.

The NSW Government announced on Thursday that shows will be allowed to go ahead, with COVID safe guidelines in place that will allow locals and visitors to enjoy the activities.

Mr Saunders said local shows are a proud tradition that communities looks forward to every year and the green light to bring this cherished event back is great news.

“Much of our region is in drought recovery for the first time in years so by holding shows once again, our farmers will have the opportunity to showcase everything from the amazing food and fibre they grow to their prize-winning bulls or family jam recipe,” he said.

“The show is one of the most important social events on our calendar and draws crowds from across the region, giving local businesses exposure and keeping money flowing through our towns.

“For some people, the show is a real social outing and a chance to get off the farm for a while and decompress from the stress that has been associated with primary production for the past few years.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said shows can go ahead from January 2021 with up to 5,000 people able to attend at any given time.

“Country shows are the beating heart of regional communities and visiting a show is one of the highlights of living in the bush. Shows boost business and community spirit and it is important that people can enjoy these events safely and responsibly,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We’ve done the hard work and deserve to enjoy ourselves, however I must stress that it will be essential for both organisers, and attendees to follow guidelines as the last thing we want is outbreaks in regional towns.”

Organisers will have to complete a COVIDSafe Event Plan, and ensure social distancing at venues, controlled access at entry points to minimise crowding and a limit to the number of attendees depending on venue size with one person per 4 square metres.

Guidelines and checklists for country shows will be availble online at www.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19

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