A third and final round of funding has been announced for broadacre irrigators in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin with $1 million available for eligible irrigators.
Minister for Agriculture Leanne Donaldson said the grant funding was to help irrigators improve their measurement and management of water assets.
“The areas within the Queensland Murray Darling Basin that will benefit most from this funding are the Darling Downs, St George, Dirranbandi, Texas, Inglewood, Goondiwindi and Mungindi,” Ms Donaldson said.
“The funding is available for those with projects aimed at achieving a ten per cent lift in water productivity by adopting new water use efficiency technologies.”
Ms Donaldson said eligible irrigators had until the end of September 2016 to apply for the funding through the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification program (MDBREDP) which is designed to fund projects to stimulate economic activity in areas affected by water reductions under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“The work is primarily focused on the communities in the Condamine-Balonne and Border Rivers districts,” Ms Donaldson said.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Principal Extension Officer, Graham Harris said irrigators were able to download the round three Grant Funding Guidelines and Expression of Interest form from the More Profit Per Drop website.
Mr Harris said grant funding totaling $644,000 had already been provided to irrigators through the first two rounds of funding.
“Across the two rounds we received and approved applications from a wide range of irrigators located in Dirranbandi, St George, Chinchilla, Talwood, Goondiwindi, Dalby, Cecil Plains, Inglewood and Stanthorpe,” Mr Harris said.
“Using the WaterTrack Divider, a cotton industry benchmarking tool developed by Aquatech Consulting, we have been working closely with participating irrigators to benchmark their on-farm water productivity.
“With the funding provided to date, approved irrigators have been able to purchase and be reimbursed for a range of pre-approved items such as storage and flow meters, soil moisture probes, professional evaluation and storage assessment services.”
The Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has provided DAF with funding to run this project as part of the MDBREDP, with in-kind support from Queensland Government agencies.
“As a result of this three year project, we expect to see increased economic activity and more profitable and resilient irrigation enterprises within the region,” Mr Harris said.