Drought-affected farmers get $3.45 million water boost

FUNDING: Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the increased funding would provide further support to South Australian drought-affected farmers.
FUNDING: Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the increased funding would provide further support to South Australian drought-affected farmers.

Drought-affected South Australian farmers will get more support to install on-farm water infrastructure with a rebate scheme getting a $3.45 million boost.

The State Government's On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure rebate scheme was exhausted earlier this year due to unprecedented interest.

This recent funding boost is from the government's $21 million Drought Support Program

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the increased funding would provide further support to South Australian drought-affected farmers.

"Our farmers are the backbone of the state's economy and agriculture will be a critical part of our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," Minister Basham said.

"Many parts of South Australia are still suffering through drought and we are proud to continue to support those farmers doing it tough."

Minister Basham stated the rebate scheme has been "very popular" with nearly 450 primary producers across the state receiving support so far.

"This $3.45 million funding boost will allow more drought-affected farmers to access help and install vital on-farm water infrastructure such as water storages, pumps, pipes, distilling dams, and associated power supplies such as generators," Minister Basham said.

"Our $21 million Drought Support Program builds on the support measures already in place and we will continue to work with industry and all levels of government to make sure assistance is targeted and effective."

Funding for the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate was exhausted earlier this year, with the scheme closed to new applications from June 17 this year.

The program was jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments and has already been provided to 442 primary producers under the scheme since July 2018.

An extra $2 million will allow existing applications to be processed, and $1.45 million will allow potential applicants who have already undertaken work and incurred costs, but not yet applied.

Those applicants will be entitled to 30 per cent funding (up to $30,000 per application), while the State Government has requested the Commonwealth consider additional funding for the program.

If the Commonwealth fulfills this request, it is expected the total support for each applicant would return to $50,000 in line with the original rebate.