Joint media release: $50 million boost to successful drought water infrastructure rebate

2 October 2020

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, The Hon Keith Pitt MP
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, The Hon David Littleproud MP

The Coalition Government is delivering a significant increase in its financial support to Australian farmers to help them become more drought resilient.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the Government is doubling its funding for the successful On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme to $100 million.

“The rebate scheme had been very well received by farmers because the infrastructure it supported provided enduring benefits, including new bores, better dams and pipes that allowed movement of water to their stock,” Minister Pitt said.

“The Government’s extra $50 million will be available this financial year to drought affected livestock producers and horticulturalists with permanent plantings.

“This investment in our farmers provides rebates up to 25% of the eligible infrastructure costs, capped at $25,000.

“The scheme, which was managed by states and territories, was over-subscribed by an estimated 2000 applications. 

“Many of our Federal MPs and Senators, along with farmers, put forward a strong case to have the scheme extended – and we’re delivering that.

“My intention is to make this support work even harder by partnering with the states and territories who must match the Commonwealth funding for eligible on-farm water infrastructure projects.”

Minister Littleproud said the scheme was extremely popular as it provided much needed assistance to improve water security, productivity and profitability.

“While recent rains are a cause for optimism, recovering from drought can take years rather than months,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This rebate is essential in the immediate term to help farmers keep livestock watered and permanent plantings alive in the drought.

“It’s even more valuable over the long term because the water infrastructure farmers build now will better prepare them for future drought events.

“The Commonwealth has stepped up to provide this extra funding to ensure more farmers do not miss out on this crucial rebate, and I know farmers would welcome state governments also stepping up to co-fund these rebates in order to provide certainty to communities,” Minister Littleproud said today.

For more information about the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website.