Agribusiness turns to show business
The Premier, Steve Bracks, today toured the Royal Melbourne Show and inspected progress on the Government’s $108 million redevelopment of the Showgrounds.
Mr Bracks and Cabinet Ministers were at the Show for the annual Royal Agricultural Society Cabinet luncheon.
“The Show is Victoria’s best-attended event, attracting about half a million people each year,” he said. “And with the redevelopment of the whole precinct, Victorians have a lot to look forward to in years to come.”
Mr Bracks said benefits from the redevelopment were already visible, with buildings completed including the refurbished heritage Agricultural Hall, the historic Centenary Hall and the renovated Royal Block.
“Visitors to this year’s Show will be able to see the new wood chop pavilion, wood store and an extended show bags pavilion.”
Agriculture Minister Bob Cameron said the redevelopment would provide a better home for the Show, along with a permanent venue to promote the Victorian agribusiness sector.
“The Showgrounds are just one of the record number of infrastructure projects being undertaken by this Government, which are driving economic growth and social development across the State.
“Over the past five years, the Government has invested more than $10 billion in infrastructure projects, and will invest a further $10 billion over the next five years.”
Mr Cameron said the Show highlighted Victoria’s thriving agribusiness sector.
“Victorian agribusiness leads the nation. We produce 30 per cent of Australia’s food products from just three per cent of the country’s arable land base, and our food and fibre exports are worth $5.7 billion annually.
“The Royal Melbourne Show brings the country to the city in a great family event.”
The 150th Royal Melbourne Show – billed as the “Greatest Show Ever” – will run until September 25.
The chair of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Jack Seymour, welcomed the Government’s support.
“I am very proud about the redevelopment’s progress and when it is complete, the transformed Showgrounds will be an invaluable asset for all Victorians,” Mr Seymour said.