Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, and Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, has welcomed the Victorian Government joining with the Federal Government to support drought affected farmers and matching Commonwealth funding to the crucial water infrastructure rebate scheme.

“The Federal Government last year doubled its commitment to $100 million for the scheme, which subsidises farmers to install crucial water infrastructure and has proved extremely popular to the point where it was heavily oversubscribed,” Mr Pitt said.

“The scheme was managed by state governments and it was significantly oversubscribed in some states leaving many farmers out of pocket.

“The rebate has been justifiably popular because the infrastructure it supports provides enduring benefits, including new bores, better dams and pipes to move water to where stock need it.

“It helps farmers keep livestock watered and permanent plantings alive during drought.

“The extra funding we are now providing will see those farmers get a rebate and allow more on-farm water infrastructure projects to go ahead.”

Mr Drum said local farmers would now be able to access this important scheme after he and Mr Pitt fought hard to secure the new federal funding.

Mr Drum said this expanded investment recognised the popularity of the scheme.

“Eligible farmers can claim up to 25 per cent of the eligible infrastructure costs, capped at $25,000 with the state and the Federal Government contributing half each,” Mr Drum said.

“Farmers who’ve been left significantly out of pocket through no fault of their own are now offered a chance to recoup the rebate they expected by state ministers signing up with the Commonwealth.

“The infrastructure investment means our farmers can be more productive and better prepared for the next, inevitable drought.

“The Commonwealth is providing a real opportunity to help those on the land become more resilient to droughts.”

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

ENDS

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