Fresh funds flow for popular drought scheme 

 
NSW Farmers welcomes the allocation of new funding to the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate (EWIR) scheme, a popular drought management and preparedness measure for farmers. 

The NSW Government has allocated $15 million in funding to the scheme, which means a total of $30 million will be available after the federal government’s dollar-for-dollar contribution. 

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said this announcement is a win for the state’s primary producers, who still face the lasting impacts of drought and who want to build the future resilience of their farms. 

“The scheme enables farmers to install infrastructure on their farms to make them more resilient to prolonged dry conditions, and this injection is set to provide $5 million worth of bores, pipes and dams on farms across NSW,” Mr Jackson said.

“NSW Farmers advocated fiercely for funds to be reinstated to this scheme, after a decision by the federal government mid last year for the funds to stop flowing.”

“It’s pleasing to see our concerted effort on this matter, which involved engaging both state and federal ministers at a grass roots level, see direct results.”

“While many NSW primary producers face improved seasonal conditions, drought-management tools like this scheme remain important – both for the resilience it enables and the stimulus it provides to local regional economies.”

Mr Jackson said it is also promising to hear the NSW Government will work with the Commonwealth to ensure an additional 845 applications made last year could be processed as soon as possible. 

“One of our main concerns last year was that existing applications were not being processed, creating uncertainty for those with funds pending.”

The EWIR scheme will be administered by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority and will provide eligible primary producers access to up to a 25 per cent rebate, up to $25,000, on new purchases and installation costs of new water infrastructure. 

Date: Friday 9 April 2021
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au