The Australian Government has again extended this popular scheme for a further 12 months to 30 June 2023. This extension includes support for farmers impacted by natural disasters to utilise the scheme.
One of the ways the Australian Government is helping Australian farm businesses build resilience is through the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme. The Australian Government has committed $100 million to this popular scheme.
How the scheme helps farms
Since its launch in 2018, the scheme has assisted farmers nationwide to purchase and install critical on-farm infrastructure to make every drop of water count.
Eligible primary producers or horticulture farm business may be able to claim up to 25% of the cost of eligible critical infrastructure, up to a maximum total rebate of $25,000.
Your state or territory will match the Australian Government’s contribution dollar for dollar.
The scheme has provided help to farm businesses nationwide and continues to support farmers with on-ground support where it is most needed.
Title: On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme
The infographic shows funding by activity type and expenditure by participating jurisdictions. The Australian Government initially committed $100 million in funding to the scheme. As of the 31st of December 2021, the scheme has provided more than 11,000 rebates valued at $61 million.
Farmers in New South Wales have received over $27.9 million in rebates, followed by $11.5 million in Queensland, $7.6 million in Western Australia, $6.8 million in South Australia, $4.4 million in Victoria, $2.6 million in the Northern Territory, $0.3 million in Tasmania, and over $0.1 million in the Australian Capital Territory.
Nationwide, over $16.3 million has funded desilting dams, $15 million has funded drilling bores, $11.1 million has funded installing tanks, $7.7 million has funded laying pipes, $7 million has funded installing pumps, and $4 million has funded other costs, such as fittings and freight.
Benefits of the scheme include: the flexibility of land management, productivity, protection of high value assets by increasing water points and improvements to animal and plant welfare.
The Australian Government initially committed $50 million in funding in 2018. In response to popular demand from farmers, a further $50 million was committed in 2021.
Following the Australian Government’s delivery of the 29 March 2022 Budget, the scheme will now close on 30 June 2023 or when funding is fully allocated.
How to find out if you are eligible and how to access your rebate
State and territory governments administer and deliver the rebates and can provide information on eligibility and access to the scheme. You can contact your state or territory using the links below:
- Victoria via the Rural Finance website.
- New South Wales via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.
- Queensland via the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.
- South Australia via the Primary Industries and Regions SA website.
- Northern Territory via the Northern Territory Government website.
- Australia Capital Territory via the ACT Government Environment website.
The scheme has concluded in Tasmania and Western Australia. Non-participating states are welcome to sign-up to the March 2022 extension and bid for funding for their farmers.
Who can apply
You must be:
- a primary producer or horticulture farmer (as defined by your state or territory)
- a property owner, share farmer or lease holder
- in an area defined as drought affected* by your state or territory
- in the grazing or horticulture industries.
*From July 2022 this will include farm businesses in an area defined by your state or territory as drought affected or impacted by natural disasters and other severe weather events.
Which activities are included
Rebates will be 25% for eligible expenses or up to a maximum total rebate of $25,000.
From July 2022, farm businesses in eligible areas impacted by natural disasters and other severe weather events might be able to access a rebate under the scheme.
The purchase and installation of new water-related infrastructure must be:
- for your own grazing livestock or permanent plantings (rebates do not apply to agisted stock)
- purchased and installed for an animal welfare or permanent planting need and to improve your drought resilience.
For primary producers
Eligible expenses for primary producers must relate to:
- buying and installing
- water storage devices such as tanks and troughs associated with stock watering
- water pumps and associated electronic systems to manage water delivery
- desilting dams
- drilling new stock water bores and associated power supply such as generators.
Water infrastructure to support livestock watering must be purchased after 30 June 2018.
For horticulture farmers
Eligible expenses for horticulture farmers must relate to:
- desilting dams
- drilling new groundwater bores and associated power supply such as generators.
Water infrastructure to support permanent plantings must be purchased after 30 June 2019.
Benefits of the scheme include reducing the impact of drought and strengthening farms to:
- increase flexibility in land management
- increase productivity
- protect high value assets
- mitigate the effects of degradation of natural watering points
- address animal welfare and permanent planting needs.
Other drought initiatives
The Australian Government is committed to helping farmers and communities with a range of on and off-farm challenges. See other drought and rural initiatives.