Free kids entry for Melbourne Royal Show

·1-min read

Young children will get free entry to this year's Melbourne Royal Show, as it attempts to entice families to return after back-to-back COVID-19 cancellations.

Organisers are set to dip into $3.5 million of state government funding to let children under 14 attend the show for free, along with more than 100 others in regional and rural Victoria.

"It's great to have the event back on the calendar and to know kids will go free and experience all the show has to offer," Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement on Thursday.

The Melbourne Royal Show had been called off twice in its 165-year history before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the showgrounds were requisitioned for the war effort in 1915, and again during World War II.

Showcasing a refreshed program, this year's event will offer a variety of food, rides, live entertainment and its famous selection of showbags.

It kicks off on September 22 and will run until October 2.

The show returns amid concerns from agriculture industry leaders that including animals in the show may pose a risk of spreading foot and mouth disease following a high-profile outbreak in Indonesia.

Show organisers are working with Agriculture Victoria on biosecurity measures, including monitoring livestock movements ahead of the event.

Earlier this week, Melbourne Zoo announced new protocols around the disease, including asking recent arrivals from Indonesia to wait 48 hours before visiting and those who live with any livestock, apart from horses, to stay away.

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