Study reveals field days worth $92 million to the nation

September 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 6.03.26 AMThe Henty Machinery Field Days creates around $30 million in economic value and sustains 321 full-time jobs in southern NSW and northern Victoria.

An economic impact study undertaken by Crowe Horwath this year has revealed the field days accrues a further $62 million in “economic value add’’ across other regions in Australia.

The study has shown the total spend from the field days is worth $56 million each year, or $92 million with the multiplier effect, sustaining 986 jobs nationally.

Henty Machinery Field Days also generates $26 million and sustained 279 jobs in the Greater Hume Shire alone.

The field days draw 47.5 per cent of visitors from more than three hours away.

Since the first HMFD event, community groups have been encouraged to participate in fundraising and volunteering at the field days.

This has created social capital benefits for the community, which go beyond economic data.

The most significant area of fundraising for the community groups is within the catering sheds, including St Patricks Catholic School, Holbrook; St Pauls Lutheran School, Henty; Henty Football Club; Culcairn Swimming Pool Committee and Walbundrie Building Committee.

The Yerong Creek P & C are paid $6500 by HMFD to clean the field day’s toilets while Henty Early Childhood Association receives $1200 for running The Family Resting Place and the Osborne Football Club receives $4000 a year for managing the waste disposal at the field days.

Member for Albury Greg Alpin launched the study at the official opening of the 2015 field days, describing the event as the largest of its type in the country.

Mr Aplin said retirement planning was not on the field days’ agenda after 52 years.

He said the economic impact study had examined the viability of the event with a view to extending to other areas in future.

“The study found that through agriculture, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and sale of goods, there is $30 million is generated over these three days by the exhibitors in its totality,’’ Mr Aplin said.

“That equates to 321 equivalent full-time jobs in this economic region.

“When you are adding the rest of the country, there is an additional $62 million of economic value – that contributes $92 million from the field days.

“That makes you realise what a massive undertaking it is.’’

Mr Aplin said the HMFD Co-operative Board was evaluating how existing and new infrastructure could be used year round.

“It is not just the economic impact the board is considering – it’s also the worth to the local communities,’’ Mr Aplin said.

“There are so many community organisations, from Yerong Creek to Culcairn, which benefit – whether that is manning the gates, collections and deliveries – and bring money back into their communities.’’

HMFD chairman Ross Edwards said the economic impact study had certainly spelt out the importance of the field days.

“Not only in this region but across Australia – to think this is the result of a one day header school in the 1960s makes one feel humble to be the leader of this massive achievement,’’ Mr Edwards said.