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NSW irrigators benefit from further funding for water use efficiency

Irrigators in NSW can apply for a share of $111 million in funding to upgrade and modernise their on-farm water infrastructure, with the opening of Round 8 of the Sustaining the Basin Irrigated Farm Modernisation program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce and NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said government and industry had injected more than $75 million into modernising irrigation infrastructure through the program.

“This is clever investment, which boosts productivity, improves water use efficiency, eliminates waste and improves returns at the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.

“More than 100 NSW irrigators have already used the program to become more water efficient and profitable—and with the program in its final stages, I urge every eligible irrigator in northern NSW to apply for funding.

“It is proving to be a practical and successful method of delivering real benefits to irrigators as well as the communities who depend on the Murray–Darling Basin. As well as maintaining or improving irrigators’ productivity, it is supporting the health of the Murray-Darling and improving the long term sustainability of regional communities.

“Investing in better infrastructure is actually an investment in the productivity and environmental sustainability of the Murray–Darling Basin.”

Minister Blair said 100 projects had been funded under the program and more than 60 had already been completed.

“Irrigators with eligible entitlements from the Barwon Darling, Border Rivers and Lower Namoi catchments can apply for this round infrastructure modernisation funding,” Minister Blair said.

“The value of individual projects funded ranges from $51,000 to $5.5 million and we have made it even easier for irrigators to apply for funding, as well as to plan and finance their projects.

“In addition, all irrigators from catchments in the program area who have eligible water entitlements can also apply for financial assistance for the preparation of an Irrigated Farm Water Use Efficiency Assessment (IFWUEA).”

The NSW Sustaining the Basin Irrigated Farm Modernisation program is funded by the Australian Government through the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program.

Round 8 of the Sustaining the Basin Irrigated Farm Modernisation program opens 6 May 2016. The deadline for completed IFWUEAs for Round 8 is 3 June 2016. Applications for infrastructure funding for Round 8 close on 1 July 2016.

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