Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has enthusiastically welcomed an extension of the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme through to 30 June next year.
Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said the extension is great news for the farming sector, and farmers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for their share of an extra $50 million.
“This important scheme delivers positive outcomes through helping farmers take proactive steps to make their properties more drought resilient.
“I have lobbied hard on behalf of local producers, who have contacted me calling for this scheme to be extended.
“The Coalition Government has listened and that is why Federal funding, in co-contribution with the NSW State Government, has been extended and is available right now,” Mr Joyce said.
“This has been a hugely popular program that’s made a real difference for thousands of Australian farmers facing the devastating challenges of drought.
Mr Joyce said, “I’ve heard and seen firsthand how drought affected livestock producers and horticulturalists with permanent plantings have put in bores, dams and pipes – and now, even more farmers will have this opportunity.”
Federal Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt said the Australian Government’s commitment of another $50 million in October last year brought the total Federal contribution to support farmers to $100 million.
“The scheme can be used to fund small scale, on-farm drought proofing water projects, including buying and laying pipes, installing water storage devices, such as tanks and troughs associated with stock watering and desilting dams and water bores,” Mr Pitt said.
“We know farmers value the rebate because it helps them manage the here-and-now when it comes to keeping livestock watered and permanent plantings alive in a drought.
“Most importantly however, it also improves productivity so they are better prepared for the next inevitable drought at some point in the future.
“This program is about helping farmers being drought prepared and drought resilient,” Mr Pitt said.