More Central West farmers will have access to practical support to help them manage drought with the Australian Government committing another $50 million for the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt and Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee MP said the rebate could be used to drill new bores, desilt dams and provide more piping for livestock producers and horticulturalists with permanent plantings.
Minister Pitt said the Australian Government had made the additional $50 million available this financial year so farmers could maintain animal welfare, keep trees and vines alive – and emerge from drought with better tools to help them drive profitability and productivity.
“This investment for our farmers provides rebates of up to 25 per cent of eligible infrastructure costs, capped at $25,000,” Minister Pitt said.
“Across the country there are currently more than 2000 applications that will miss out on funding if we didn’t make this additional funding available, because the scheme is over subscribed.
“My intention is to make this support work even harder by partnering with the states and territories who must match the Commonwealth funding for eligible on-farm water infrastructure projects.”
Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee said the scheme was good news for the region’s farmers.
“I’ve been fighting for an extension to the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme for some time now. This drought support is a lifeline for famers and having unfunded applications that were submitted in good faith isn’t fair or right. I now call on the states to do their bit, to match this Federal funding and waive any administration fees on the program.
“While the recent rains have caused great optimism, the fact remains that recovery is a longer-term proposition for many farmers.
“This infrastructure investment also means that our farmers are given every opportunity to prepare for future drought conditions,” Mr Gee said.
“Many local farmers asked me to go into bat for them on this, that’s what I’ve done, and the Federal Government has delivered. We would now ask the State Government to do its part,” Mr Gee added.
For more information about the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website.