Brighton show not eligible for new showgrounds grant

The Brighton Show is one of Tasmania’s biggest agricultural shows, but it is set to miss out on funds from a new federal grant because it’s not rural enough for the Morrison government.

The Brighton Show committee was looking forward to applying for funding to help with a long-planned facelift. Under the grant, show societies can apply for up to $500,000.

“But according to the Morrison government, the Brighton Show is not rural enough to be eligible for funding under its Agricultural Show Community Grants program,” said federal Lyons MP Brian Mitchell.

“The boundaries the Morrison government is using cut the Brighton Show off from funding, but include the city-based Launceston, Devonport and Burnie Shows, which are all in Liberal-held seats,” Mr Mitchell said.

“The Brighton Show is one of the biggest and most traditional agricultural shows you’ll find, with sheep, cattle and goats and the wares of the CWA major attractions every year.

“It’s clear the Morrison government doesn’t understand Tasmania - to claim that Brighton is less rural than Launceston is a joke.”

Mr Mitchell says the furore mirrors an ongoing tussle he’s having with employment minister Michaelia Cash over the status of the town of Richmond.

“A plumber in the town of Richmond has been told he’s ineligible for a regional apprentice subsidy scheme, even though plumbers in Launceston can get it,” Mr Mitchell said. “It’s a stupid decision by Michaelia Cash that is resulting in apprentices missing out on jobs.”

“The Brighton Show and the apprentice subsidy can both be fixed pretty quickly - we just need the Morrison government to apply a bit of common-sense and change the boundaries to ensure that Tasmania’s regions get a fair shake.”