Australia’s federal government has committed $50 million to top-up a drought rebate scheme. The scheme ran out of money 18 months early. Drought-affected farmers who invest in water projects, like drilling bores or cleaning dams, could again be entitled to rebates worth up to $25,000, Water Minister Keith Pitt announced in Bundaberg today.
Water Minister Keith Pitt says the new funding will be contingent on input from state governments. Pitt said the next week's Federal Budget would include the cash to extend the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, if the funding was matched by state governments, adding that some 7,600 applications had been approved and the scheme had been over-subscribed by at least 2,000 applications.
Pitt argued the scheme had been poorly managed by states including Queensland and New South Wales. According to abc.net.au, Pitt also said the eligibility criteria, targeting drought-affected graziers and horticulturists with permanent plantings would remain the same.