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Nationals Leader, Troy Grant, Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, and Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water & Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, have announced that drought-affected farmers will share in an additional $20 million in funding under the popular Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme.

In 2013 Nationals MPs lobbied the government and secured the first tranche of the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme, giving farmers immediate access to crucial funding to secure water for their livestock, but it ended on 30 June 2014.

In total, more than $34 million was allocated to the previous scheme – benefiting some 2200 farm businesses across drought-affected parts of NSW.

This new funding recognises that while some areas in the state have had some good recent rain, conditions deteriorated further through the last half of 2014 and people on the land are doing it tough.

This funding will assist farmers who are battling with short-term water issues, and it also helps them invest in long-term infrastructure and be better prepared for the next inevitable drought.

Eligible farmers will be able to apply for a rebate of up to 50 per cent of the cost of installing on-farm emergency water infrastructure, up to a cap of $20,000.

The next level of support will be directed to the worst-affected farmers, those experiencing a one-in-50-year rainfall deficiency.

The rebate can be used for a range of projects, including:

  • Installation of bores;
  • New water storage tanks;
  • Pumps and pipelines;
  • Stock troughs; and
  • De-silting of dams, if the property does not have access to good-quality groundwater and relies on surface water.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest rainfall data will be used to determine which areas are eligible, down to the farm level rather than Local Government Area, as has been the case in the past.

The NSW Government’s Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate will close on 30 June 2015, or when the $20 million in funding is fully allocated. Applicants must obtain approval from the Rural Assistance Authority prior to carrying out any on-farm works.

The scheme assists farmers to become more drought resilient, while providing water for emergency animal welfare requirements.

To view a fact sheet, Q&A, indicative BoM map of areas experiencing one-in-50 rainfall deficiency or to apply, visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

For more information about other NSW Government drought assistance measures currently available please visit www.dpi.nsw.gov/agriculture/emergency/drought.

For information on available Commonwealth drought assistance please visit www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculture-food/drought.

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