$50 million top up for regional emergency water support
THE Federal Government’s announcement to top up the on-farm emergency water infrastructure rebate scheme by $50 million has been welcomed across regional Australia.
Growcom policy and advocacy manager Richard Shannon said any assistance given to the growing regions in Queensland after some of the driest conditions on record will always be well received.
“We are really pleased with this top up from Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt, after the initial investment appeared to evaporate overnight under the administration of state and territory agencies,” he said.
“Eligibility under the Scheme had only just been extended to permanent tree and vine crops late last year.
“Unfortunately it was soon after that we learnt the funds had already been committed.
“Many growers keen to participate missed out. They‘ll be glad for a second bite of the cherry.”
Growcom, together with regional horticulture groups, are also reiterating their request that the Queensland Government extends its own 50 per cent rebate for emergency water infrastructure to permanent tree and vine crops, exclusively enjoyed by the livestock industry at the moment.
“This request is underpinned by the principle of equity between industries,” Mr Shannon said.
“For some time this state based rebate was justified not on just animal welfare grounds, but also improving resilience through drought and productivity through a normal season
“You could argue this logic applies even more so to horticulture, you can move livestock to water, but you can't move an orchard.
“ A tree lost takes years and years to replace.”