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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Victorian Government had finally signed up to the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, allowing funds to again flow to Gippsland farmers.

The Federal Government has provided $100 million for the scheme, which helps farmers become more drought resilient and subsidises the installation of crucial water infrastructure.

“I have worked with Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt to secure the new federal funding, and this expanded investment recognises the popularity of the scheme,” Mr Chester said.

“Eligible farmers can claim up to 25 per cent of the eligible infrastructure costs, capped at $25,000 with the State and the Federal Government contributing half each.

“The rebates can be used to support new bores, better dams, and pipes to move water to where stock need it.”

Mr Chester said the infrastructure meant that farmers would be more productive and better prepared for the next inevitable drought in years to come.

“Farmers who’ve been left significantly out of pocket through no fault of their own are now offered a chance to recoup the rebate they expected now that the state has signed up with the Commonwealth,” Mr Chester said.

“The Federal Government is providing a real opportunity to help those on the land become more resilient to droughts.”

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the Coalition Government last year doubled its commitment to $100 million for the scheme, which subsidises farmers to install crucial water infrastructure and has proved extremely popular to the point where it was heavily over-subscribed.

“The scheme was managed by state governments and it was significantly oversubscribed in some states leaving many farmers out of pocket,” Mr Pitt said.

“The rebate has been justifiably popular because the infrastructure it supports provides enduring benefits, including new bores, better dams and pipes to move water to where stock need it.

“It helps farmers keep livestock watered and permanent plantings alive during drought.

“The extra funding we are now providing would see those farmers get a rebate and allow more on-farm water infrastructure projects to go ahead,” he said.

For more information about the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment at www.agriculture.gov.au/water/national/on-farm-infrastructure-rebate#when-will-the-additional-funding-be-available

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