Water Infrastructure Rebate Changes Benefit Farmers

After contacting Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone about concerns regarding drought assistance eligibility, Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP has been pleased to see positive changes.

Mr Brock was contacted by a Mid North primary producer in January, concerned that rebates under the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Scheme only allowed for a single funding application for the life of the program.

The Rebate Scheme assists with new water infrastructure purchases and installation costs for on-farm water infrastructure to help provide water to livestock or permanent horticulture plantings in the current drought and better improve drought resilience.

“The scheme allowed for a one-off rebate of up to 50% – to a maximum of $50,000,” Mr Brock said.

“However, the scheme is open until March 2021, and in the case of this farmer, he accessed a rebate of $3,000 to put in a bore in 2019 and became ineligible for further support”.

“It would be of great benefit to him and his farming business to be able to put in another bore supported by the scheme.”

Mr Brock asked for changes in the criteria which would allow for multiple applications during the funding period to the total value of $50,000.

“Harvest and wool cheques are annual events, which makes cash flow an issue and new infrastructure is only considered on an annual basis.

“Allowing farmers to apply multiple times for the rebate, up to the $50,000 cap, is more equitable and reduces financial pressure in our drought-stricken agricultural industry, while also providing more flexibility,” Mr Brock said.

“I am therefore extremely pleased to see, following discussions with the Minister, that these changes, allowing multiple applications, have been instituted and will provide more resources to primary producers in South Australia in relation to water during drought and dry times”.

The South Australian Government matches Commonwealth Government funding for the Rebate Scheme and applications and more information can be found:

https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/grants_and_assistance/drought_support/water_resources