House of Representatives, March 20 2023

Dr HAINES (Indi) (13:36): We all know about the devastation that the floods caused across regional Australia in October last year to homes and businesses, but the effect on our community groups, our sporting clubs and so many more has also been significant.

Many communities in my electorate of Indi faced the cancellation of important annual events with so much work and revenue washed away by floods. One such group was the Benalla Agricultural and Pastoral Society, which was forced to cancel the spring show at the last minute due to floodwaters inundating the showgrounds. After years affected by the pandemic, it was set to be a great show and the committee, exhibitors and community had done so much work.

But the townspeople of Benalla weren’t going to let the flood stand in their way, and this weekend they will host the Benalla Autumn Mini-Show and Exhibition. The mini show will have gardening, photography, textiles, cookery, crafts and art competitions, and so much more. Just like community groups, sporting clubs and businesses in regional communities across Indi and right across Australia, the Benalla Agricultural and Pastoral Society is not giving up but is instead innovating and putting in the work to show up for the town, and they’ll be doing it all again in spring.

Well done to everyone on the committee: president, Christine Ogden; vice-president, William Ferguson; secretary, Wendy Beer; treasurer, Beth Schultz; assistant secretary, Maureen Freshwater; and committee members Lorraine Edgley, Kerryn Amery, Genevieve Saunders, Julie Dickinson-Franks and Tamar Dalton. Well done and thank you.

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