Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC has welcomed the announcement of a $4.4 million Watering WA rebates scheme for farmers in dryland agricultural areas who are looking to develop and improve their on-farm water supplies.
The Department of Water’s popular Farm Water Rebates Scheme now falls under the State Government’s $30 million Watering WA initiative, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
“Watering WA has extended the existing Farm Water Rebates Scheme to farms connected to scheme water and the maximum value of rebates is increasing from $15,000 to $20,000. Farmers not connected to scheme can continue to apply for funding,” Mr Grills said.
“The scheme officially starts on October 1, 2016, however farmers are able to start registering their interest now.”
The funding builds on more than $36 million spent over the past two decades building water capacity on farms not connected to the scheme in dryland agricultural areas.
“In the Mining and Pastoral Region, this scheme will particularly assist farmers in the Goldfields-Esperance region,” Mr Grills said.
Farmers may claim 50 per cent of the cost of water supply plans, up to a maximum value of $500, and a further rebate of up to $250 for any call back visits by an approved water auditor.
Once the plan has been approved by the Department of Water, farmers can apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of a range of infrastructure improvements to dams and catchments, tanks, pipes and pumping systems including solar energy, up to a maximum value of $20,000.
“This supports the wider Watering WA initiative to make hundreds of millions of litres of water available for community and industry use in agricultural towns and communities, reducing reliance on costly scheme water for non-potable uses,” Mr Grills said.
Nationals WA candidate for Roe Peter Rundle said the rebates supported key improvements, such as harvesting of water through improving catchments for dams, new guttering on farm sheds, increased storage of harvested water with new and enlarged dams, and improved on-farm distribution.
“This investment ultimately aims to support long-term growth in regional communities and their economies,” Mr Rundle said.