The Andrews Labor Government is supporting Victorian farmers to invest in new equipment and technology to improve sustainability and reduce energy costs with the rollout of Agriculture Energy Investment Plan grants.
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today visited a recipient in Serpentine, one of 36 farm businesses around the state who are benefitting from over $1 million in the latest round of grants.
The grants will support farm businesses complete projects to improve their energy efficiency, reduce on-farm costs and maintain their competitiveness. Grants have been awarded to farms across the agricultural sector – including dairy, sheep, horticulture and viticulture producers.
The grants awarded so far will be used for projects including solar energy systems, sustainable solar-powered dairy systems and irrigation and electricity upgrades. Some farms are expected to save over 40 per cent on their annual energy costs.
Farms from across the state, including those in the Wangaratta, Moira, Wellington, Alpine, Gannawarra, South Gippsland, and Campaspe shires have been successful.
The grants process will now be streamlined for dairy farmers applying for small energy grants, who will now be able to receive grants for eligible equipment without requiring an on-farm energy assessment.
This allows dairy farmers facing particularly challenging seasonal and market conditions to apply directly for a grant of up to $50,000 by selecting from a list of pre-approved items.
Farm businesses applying for smaller grants will now be able to apply twice for the maximum combined value of $50,000 allowing them to access support more efficiently and better plan ahead for their businesses.
The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan has been designed to strengthen industry’s ability to adapt to changing energy conditions and provides:
- $5 million for energy efficiency assessments on farm
- $20 million in grants to support farmers invest in energy efficiency and own generation technology
- $1.5 million to demonstrate energy efficiency and own generation measures on farm
- $2.5 million to link farmers and businesses to information, education resources and apps
- $1 million to build research partnerships for the farming sector.
For more information on how to apply for assessments and grants, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au.
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“We’re proud to be helping Victorian farms move into the future with projects that will bring costs down and make our agriculture industry sustainable for many years to come.”
As noted by Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“We’re making it easier for farmers to save on their energy bills and increase the efficiency of their business – these grants will make a real difference to the farmer’s bottom line, and help them improve their farms into the future.”