State and territory governments and their project partners are now able to apply for a share of $72 million in funding for water infrastructure to assist drought affected regions.

The Australian Government has released Expressions of Interest (EOI) guidelines for the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund’s special drought round, which set out the process and requirements for submission and assessment of proposals for funding under the drought round.

The closing date for EOIs to be submitted is 11 December 2018. Projects must be supported by the relevant state or territory government minister, and be ready to progress to construction within 12 months of the closing date to be considered for funding.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the drought round was part of the government’s $1.8 billion drought package.

The government has committed almost $2.6 billion to assist state and territory governments to undertake major water infrastructure projects.

This commitment includes $580 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, including $230 million for water infrastructure in northern Australia.

The $72 million drought round will help the states and territories to deliver greater water security for primary producers, business and communities in drought affected regions.

In addition, the government has:

  • Expanded the Drought Communities Program to provide an extra $75 million
  • Changed tax treatment arrangements for fodder storage assets
  • Doubled concessional loans caps to $2 million
  • Committed $22.7 million toward the Great Artesian Basin bore-capping program to improve water efficiency
  • Committed $2.7 million to the Bureau of Meteorology for finer-scale regional weather and climate guides

“Just as the drought evolves, so must our policies. There is no place for set and forget. We will continue to engage with farmers to ensure our drought response meets their needs,” Mr McCormack said.

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