The South Australian Government has announced $14.6 million worth of funding to the state’s horticulture industry as part of Netting Infrastructure Grants, helping protect growers from damaging weather and pests.
The grants are designed to fund the purchase and installation of new netting or the replacement of any damaged netting over land used to grow crops. The South Australian Government will match growers dollar for dollar up to the value of $300,000 under the program, which has been made available to the broader horticulture industry in the state.
APAL CEO Phil Turnbull said the announcement was welcome news to growers.
“We’re very happy for our growers in the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere who have been decimated by unforeseen weather events in recent times,” Phil said.
“Netting is extremely important in protecting against the elements and against pests.
“While cost is usually a barrier for small to mid-size orchards purchasing netting, this funding will help make it more accessible and help future proof growers in South Australia for years to come”.
South Australian growers have been hit hard by hail damage and soaring temperatures in recent years, with APAL pushing for a National Netting Program for some time to mitigate the impact of these events.
The grants include the purchase of netting and poles, but does not allow for the claiming of wages through self-installation.
The grants also don’t cover any new orchards or bushfire impacted orchards, although those affected by last summer’s bushfires may be eligible for Federal Government grants announced last week. The program will be backdated for eligible producers who have installed netting since December 2019.
APAL is continuing to push for netting funding to reach other states, and will advise as soon as there is more information on this.
Click here for more information on the South Australian Netting Infrastructure Grants.
Click here for guidelines, including eligibility requirements.