The fifth and final round of the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program has now opened with $125 million of funding available to irrigators in southern New South Wales.
The Australian Government will work together with the NSW State Government, delivery partner organisations and irrigators to deliver a programme to implement on-farm irrigation efficiency projects.
“The funding will be targeted to projects in the Murrumbidgee, NSW Murray and the Lower Darling that are specifically designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of on-farm water use and management,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
“By investing in on-farm infrastructure we are further increasing the water efficiency of Australian farmers and delivering water savings for the environment.
“The Abbott Government has committed strongly to recovering water through infrastructure investments and this project, as part of the recently announced $350 million NSW package, will help to ensure that our irrigators can grow as much food and fibre as possible.
“The benefits of on-farm projects go beyond the farm gate, with benefits flowing directly to local contractors and suppliers, providing greater opportunities to businesses and helping to secure long term viability and growth in the Basin,” Senator Birmingham said.
Water savings generated by on-farm projects will be shared between proponents and the environment with at least 50 per cent of the savings transferred to the Australian Government.
“Competitive bids for funding via delivery partners under Round Five are invited from organisations with close relationships with irrigator communities. Organisations can include irrigation infrastructure operators, catchment management authorities, commodity or agricultural industry groups, and regional irrigation bodies,” Senator Birmingham said.
The application period for Stage One of Round Five is now open. The closing time for funding applications will be 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDST) Thursday, 19 March 2015. At the completion of the Stage One application process successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal.
There have been changes to the guidelines from Round Four. Applicants should carefully read the Round Five guidelines.
More information about the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program including guidelines and application form are available at www.environment.gov.au/water/programs/srwui/irrigation-efficiency.html or by calling 1800 218 478.