Rural landholders across the ACT are sharing in $150,000 to make their farm business more resilient to drought and other climate extremes under the ACT Rural Resilience Grants announced today.
The ACT Government is pleased to be able to make its contribution to supporting ACT farmers during this extended dry period.
The grants will enable our landholders to install infrastructure including for fodder storage and water supplies to enable them to manage stock and protect their farming resource base during extended dry periods.
Rural landholders are also contributing their own resources to implement projects with grants leveraging an estimated $500,000 co-contribution (in kind and materials) from landholders.
Our local farmers have been managing with significantly below average rainfall, with September 2018 being the driest September on record across Australia.
Seventeen of the successful grant projects will support landholders to improve their stock water (water to keep sheep, cattle and other farm animals alive) through constructing or de-silting dams, installing bores and tanks, installing pipes and troughs to extend water into areas where dams have dried up, and accessing off-stream water through construction of pumps, pipes and troughs.
A further seven successful projects will assist landholders to construct fodder conservation infrastructure such as silos and hay sheds. These projects will enable landholders to buy or grow their own stock fodder such as oats or lucerne and store this fodder and protect from the elements until they need to feed it out to their stock, taking the pressure of their soils and pastures.
Most landholders who are recipients of this funding are also planning to use the fodder storing sheds to harvest rainfall for stock water purposes.
Two successful projects will assist landholders to install fencing to manage kangaroo numbers on their properties and reduce the total grazing pressure on their farm – thus protecting soils and pastures particularly during these dry times.
In the face of climate change, farm business is becoming increasingly complex and the ability to adapt and build resilience is crucial. These grants will assist our ACT farmers to make those adaptations.
The ACT Rural Resilience Grants are part of package of initiatives announced by the ACT Government in August 2018 to support ACT rural landholders, which also included a 50% freight subsidy on fodder, water and stock, to reimburse transport costs up to $20,000 per farm business from July 2018.
I am also pleased to announce today that we are making it easier for farmers to access the freight subsidy by lifting the off-farm assets test from $1 million to $5 million. This announcement matches the arrangements in place in NSW and ensures our rural landholders won’t be at a comparative disadvantage to those across the border.
For more information on the successful grant projects visit www.environment.act.gov.au/act-nrm/act-farmers-support-package
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Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases
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