The Australian Government is bolstering support for drought affected farmers in Queensland through the $100 million On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, welcomed the Queensland Government signing on to the expanded scheme to further support drought affected farmers.
“The rebate scheme is about delivering practical support for our farmers to complete critical on-farm water infrastructure projects on the ground in order to maintain a more reliable and sustainable water supply into the future,” Minister Pitt said.
“Primary producers and horticultural producers in Queensland will be able to get on with important drought-proofing works including improving water storage on their farms through the installation of tanks, troughs, pipes, pumps and drilling new bores.
“The expanded investment recognises the popularity of the scheme. Eligible farmers can claim for eligible infrastructure costs for new rebates in line with state guidelines.
“The Australian Government is allocating $1.7 million to pay rebates to those 398 farmers in Queensland who spent money in good faith and were previously unable to get a refund because the scheme was oversubscribed.
“It is very pleasing that those who have already committed will be able to be supported and that we will see further investments in one of farming’s most limiting factors, water supply.
“A further $1.9 million, to be matched by the Queensland Government, will also be provided for new applicants to the scheme.”
Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the scheme would further support Queensland’s farmers who are still suffering from the effects of drought.
“Agriculture is playing a leading role in Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan, and we are proud to be able to continue our support for those still doing it tough,” Minister Furner said.
“New applicants in Queensland will immediately benefit from the State Government’s decision to match the Australian Government’s funding of $1.9 million under the extended scheme.
“This funding boost will allow more drought-affected farmers in our region to install vital on-farm water infrastructure. We’re giving farmers the tools to better manage future droughts so we can keep producing the best quality food and fibre for the world, and keep regional economies going.
“The funding is in addition to the Queensland Government’s ongoing 50% Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme, which has supported thousands of Queensland livestock producers since the drought began in 2013.”
Producers who have previously lodged an application for the Queensland Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate or the federal On-Farm EWIR will not need to re-apply, as their existing claim will be assessed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for eligibility and payment.
To date, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory have all supported the extension of the scheme to 30 June 2022.