- $5.62 million put aside for the Water infrastructure rebate scheme in WA
- Eligible farmers can claim 25 per cent of expenses up to $25,000
- State delays mean WA farmers have only received around 5 per cent of funds distributed to date.
Minister for Drought David Littleproud is urging the WA government to speed up delivery of drought support after the state lost $1.35 million because the money wasn’t spent in time.
The Coalition Government has topped up WA’s Emergency On-Farm Water Infrastructure Rebate with another $2.35 million for drought-hit livestock and horticulture farmers.
The scheme pays eligible farmers 25 per cent of the cost of installing new bores and desilting dams, up to $25,000.
Minister Littleproud said the Commonwealth committed to $4.62 million to WA in 2018 but the McGowan government has been slow to pass on the cash.
“They didn’t even start accepting applications until May 2019,” Minister Littleproud said.
“I want WA to get its fair share, but its own state government is holding it back.
“All the state has to do is hand on the money – the scheme won’t cost them a cent.
“If the money isn’t spent in a financial year it goes back to the Federal Treasury and the McGowan Government knows this.
“In the first year WA didn’t approve a single application, losing $1.35 million in funding.
“Sitting back and letting this money slip away is just crazy.
“The Commonwealth has provided another $2.35 million this year and I want WA to use it.
“It’s basic math – you have to be in it to win it and the WA Government has stayed out.
“WA Farmers are just starting to see the money while $20 million has been spent nationally.
“Queensland and South Australia match Federal funds so farmers can get 50 per cent back on eligible projects. The WA Government provides nothing extra.
“The WA Government needs to stop playing catch-up and deliver for WA farmers.”
- Part of the $50 million On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.
- Eligible farmers can claim up to 25 per cent of expenses up to $25,000.
- Projects can include installing new bores or desilting dams.
- Over 3600 farmers have had their applications approved by their state governments – less than 200 of these are in Western Australia.