The Federal and Victorian Governments are increasing their support of drought-affected farmers by widening eligibility to the $100 million On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

While drought conditions have improved across the country, the government has altered the Scheme’s eligibility criteria so that north-west farmers in the Millewa are now able to apply for a rebate to modernise farm water infrastructure, improve productivity and prepare for future droughts.

Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said, “I welcome the expansion of the scheme to the Millewa region, as well as changes to eligibility that have made the scheme accessible to more drought-affected farmers in East Gippsland and Wellington.

“Extending the scheme to Millewa farmers provides much-needed support to help respond to low rainfall and recent variable harvests.”

Farmers in East Gippsland and Wellington who received a rebate under the initial scheme can now also apply for another rebate under round two and receive the maximum $25,000 rebate.

Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Mary-Anne Thomas, said the extension of the scheme would provide further support to the hardest hit farmers in drought-affected areas. 

“Now is the time to invest in efficient and modern on-farm water infrastructure. We want to support Victorian farmers to upgrade their farms so they can be more resilient and adapt to a changing climate. 

“Not only will this allow farmers to be more productive but it will boost local economies and support our regional communities to continue to thrive,” Ms Thomas said.

“I want as many Victorian farmers to benefit from this scheme as possible, so if you are eligible apply for a rebate as soon as you can.” 

Applications close on 6 May 2022 or when the Scheme’s funds are fully exhausted.

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