Growcom has congratulated the Federal Government on their announcement today confirming a $50 million top up to the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme. 

“Significant growing regions in Queensland have witnessed some of the driest conditions on record over the past two years or more. Any assistance to improve our water security and resilience will always be well received,” said Richard Shannon, Manager of Policy and Advocacy at Growcom.

“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.

“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 to permanent tree and vine crops its own 50 per cent rebate for emergency water infrastructure, currently exclusively enjoyed by the livestock industry.

“This request is underpinned by the principle of equity between industries. 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,” said Mr Shannon. 

“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.”

For more information about the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website.