Luna Park gets involved in giving the Victorian Farmers a break!
Luna Park lends a helping hand to help relieve hardships for farming families in Victoria who have been deep in the worst drought in decades during the summer months of 1918/19. ‘Gimme a break’ is the name of the initiative formed by Michael Gudinski from The Mushroom Group and some of his colleagues with the support of Luna Park and the Victorian Government and Minister for Agriculture the Hon. Jaclyn Symes.
Organisers of ‘Gimme a break’
Mr Gudinski and his friends from some of Melbourne’s music, entertainment and sporting communities have created ‘Gimme a break’ to provide members of Victoria’s farming communities a break from recent financial and emotional challenges by gifting family members free access to a range of top events and free accommodation in Melbourne over a succession of weekends.
First weekend success
The first weekend that took place on 18 and 19 May saw 50 people, made up of South East Gippsland family groups, visit Melbourne to experience a combination of offered experiences including AFL, concerts, art and good ol’ fashioned fun at Melbourne attractions.
CEO for Luna Park, Mary Stuart said that Luna Park was honoured to be included as one of the experiences for the families to have in Melbourne. “We loved giving out Park passes and having the families here at Luna Park. We heard that time spent here was one of the favourite experiences among the list.
The following people who went to Luna Park shared the following feedback:
• “Thanks for the weekend we thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids loved Luna Park and the footy was great!” – Brooks Joiner
• “We all went crazy on all of the rides at Luna Park! Well except me, as I am a bit of a sook on the scary rides!“ – Rose Faithfull
• “What a great and privileged experience the weekend was. We had an awesome time exploring and attending the sponsored events and landmarks in Melbourne. The kids loved the footy and Luna Park and of course the food.” – Quentin Hodge
Victorian Minister for Agriculture welcomes families
Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes said she also had the great pleasure of welcoming some of the fantastic farming families from Gippsland to Melbourne over the past few months. “The families attended the football and experienced the thrill of Luna Park’s attractions, saw some shows, and had a great weekend with their families that, due to the drought, might not have been their first priority over the past few months.
“Farmers right across Victoria have been doing it tough with unprecedented dry conditions, and while we can’t make it rain more, we can offer support and get out and listen to farmers, and that’s exactly what we are doing. While we’ve seen some rain recently, we know we need more. While we wait for further rain, the whole State is with these farming communities.
“These weekends have not only been giving families a much-needed break from the farm, but shedding light to city residents on just how tough conditions are at the moment. Whether it’s on the big screen at the football or through a segment on Triple M Breakfast, we’re making sure Melburnians understand exactly what these communities are going through, and supporting them all the way.”
The Principal Policy Adviser from Latrobe Valley Authority, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Rob Collyer explained that slowly there is a realisation that, just because it rains, the drought isn’t over. “It can take years of good rain for the farmers to get back to where they were both financially and mentally. We will continue to push this line and hope that some more publicity through any means will help,” he said.
Drought Relief Package
As well as supporting these weekends, the Labor Government is delivering an over $50 million Drought Relief Package
“We hope this will help ease the financial burden for farming families that have been hit hardest – to help manage feed and water requirements, or just put food on the table when times are tough.
These weekends are all about taking a break and enjoying some of the best that Melbourne has to offer. Whether it’s rollercoasters, live sport, absorbing some culture or entertainment, or enjoying some of the best food and hospitality around, I hope these are weekends to remember, “said Jaclyn Symes.