15 Jul 2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce will be joined by the Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt in Tamworth today to highlight the second round of the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR) Scheme.

Mr Joyce said the Coalition Government’s decision to extend the program until 30 June 2022 meant more of the region’s farmers could access the funds to improve their drought infrastructure.

“I welcome the New South Wales decision to match the Commonwealth’s contribution in this round – that way more farmers can access the rebate before the funding envelope is met,” Mr Joyce said.

“New England farmers benefited greatly from Round 1, and will do so in Round 2 with this funding covering 25 per cent of the cost of new water infrastructure up to a maximum of $25,000.”

Minister Pitt said the first round of the scheme had been hugely popular as it provided drought-affected primary producers and horticulture farmers with the opportunity to obtain a rebate to buy and install on-farm water infrastructure to water livestock and permanent plantings.

“In New England, rebates worth a total of $5.37 million have been provided to 1,026 successful applicants, making sure farmers have real support to withstand current and future droughts,” Minister Pitt said.

“The Australian Government is about delivering this sort of practical support so that farmers can get on and do what they do best – creating some of the best produce in the world.”

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson said this funding will greatly stimulate the agricultural sector in the Tamworth electorate.

“In Round 1, almost $1 million was delivered to 164 successful applicants in the Tamworth region, with flow-on benefits for many members of the community,” Minister Anderson said.

“Agriculture is one of our most significant employers in our region and this Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme is designed to protect those jobs and maintain agricultural productivity in times of drought.”

Minister Anderson said the rebate would be delivered through the New South Wales Rural Assistance Authority.

He said, “While we have received some good rainfall over the past season with our dams racing towards capacity, we know that our climate is highly variable, and I therefore encourage all farmers in our region to test their eligibility and to take full advantage of the rebate if they’re able.”

Application information is available on the Rural Assistance Authority website.

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