Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate

By Gillian Hayward

One-off rebates are now available to eligible primary producers.

This is for the cost of on-farm water infrastructure that addresses animal welfare needs and improves resilience in drought. The rebate is 25% of the costs of purchase, delivery and installation of water infrastructure with a maximum of $25,000 per farm enterprise.

The rebate is subject to funds being available with no rebates being offered beyond the allocated funding of $12 million.

Note the primary producers will be eligible to apply for the rebate for eligible expenses incurred since 1 July 2018.

Eligible activities include:

  • Pipes
  • Water storage devices such as tanks and troughs associated with stock watering
  • Water pumps
  • Desilting works of existing dams, where you can demonstrate that the property does not have access to groundwater
  • Drilling of new stock water bores and associated power supplies such as generators
  • Other materials or equipment necessary to install the above excluding the purchase of machinery
  • Any freight component to purchase and install the infrastructure
  • Professional installation costs to install the water infrastructure

Ineligible activities include:

  • Water infrastructure that has been purchased and installed where there is not an emergency animal need or potential for this need.
  • Water infrastructure that has been purchased and installed for uses other than to supply water for livestock
  • Wages for your employees or your self-assessed labour costs

To be eligible you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • You are a property owner, share-farmer or lessee in the grazing industry (as confirmed by your land and stock return)
  • Your business operates as a sole trader, trust, partnership or private company and trades in agricultural products
  • Your property has or is at risk of an emergency animal welfare need – as assessed through submission of a completed water availability statement (see below)
  • As the owner and operator, you earn more than 50% of your gross income from your primary production enterprise under normal seasonal circumstances or if you have commenced your farming operation between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2018 and 50% of your gross income will be derived from the farm enterprise within three years of the date of the application. The applications of new farming entrants will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • You do not have gross off farm assets exceeding $5 million
  • You purchase and install the water infrastructure for animal welfare needs, because:
    • Water is currently being carted or about to be carted onto your property to supply livestock where water supply has run out; OR
    • Your property could be reasonable expected to run out of water before the next inflow of water; OR
    • The work will help ensure that stock water is available into the future during adverse seasonal conditions
  • The water infrastructure is installed for livestock permanently residing on your property and not currently part of an agistment
  • Expenditure incurred after 1 July 2018
  • You have not introduced any livestock onto the property during the current drought or in the three-month period prior to the date the scheme opened (14th January 2019). This includes livestock taken on for agistment.
  • As a Commonwealth fund, recipients of the NSW Drought Assistance Fund and Farm innovation fund are eligible to apply.

Water Availability Statement

In this statement you need to outline the following information:

  • Number of stock on the property at the date of application
  • Advise if you have been forced to remove stock from your property in excess of normal turnoff due to drought conditions
  • If you intend to introduce other stock to the property
  • If you have introduced any livestock onto the property during the current drought or in the 3 months prior to the property being in drought
  • Advise of the drought management strategies that have been undertaken on the property
  • Provide maps (can be hand drawn) of property indicating current water sources and infrastructure
  • Advise of current water availability e.g. dam water levels (approx. %), existing bores and how much they can pump, creeks etc
  • Describe the current additional water needed to ensure ongoing animal survival and what options will be undertaken if water is not improved e.g. forced sales or water cartage
  • Describe current feed levels on the property
  • Describe what steps you have undertaken to reduce the effects of drought and water shortages on your livestock and property
  • Provide maps of proposed water sources and infrastructure and describe how you propose to address/resolve the livestock water emergency situation on your property


For more information and to apply: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/emergency-water-infrastructure-rebate-scheme

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