Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Urban Water

Round four of On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program opens

Joint media release
29 July 2013

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Urban Water, Amanda Rishworth today announced the opening of the $100 million fourth funding round of the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program.

Ms Rishworth said the funding grants will assist farmers in the southern connected system of the Murray-Darling Basin to further enhance their irrigation efficiency and improve on-farm productivity.

"Through our ongoing commitment this program, farmers can improve their irrigation infrastructure to increase crop yields, improve crop rotation flexibility, reduce labour times and costs and reduce nutrient run-off to ensure long-term sustainable farms," Ms Rishworth said.

"Water savings achieved through the projects will be shared between the farmer and the Government to help 'bridge the gap' to the sustainable diversion limits under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan."

Visiting a property in South Australia's Riverland that received funding through round one of the program, Ms Rishworth said the increased business productivity and environmental results achieved through the program were evident.

"Today I have the great pleasure of visiting Mr Ian Oliver's farm in Holder, near Waikerie, South Australia and it's wonderful to see firsthand the upgraded infrastructure and to hear how it has increased the operating capacity of this farm," Ms Rishworth said.

"This is the fourth and final funding round under the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program and I am proud of the innovative projects the delivery partners and farmers have undertaken through the first three rounds, which comprised of approximately 1200 projects with water savings projected to be over 155 gigalitres in entitlements."

Applications for funding under round four are invited from organisations with close relationships with irrigator communities including irrigation infrastructure operators, catchment management authorities, commodity or agricultural industry groups, and regional irrigation bodies.

Projects seeking funding under the program must demonstrate an ability to secure a long-term sustainable future for irrigation communities, secure real improvements in river health, deliver substantial and lasting returns of water to the environment, and represent good value for money.

Applications for funding close at 4.00 pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time) on Monday, 14 October 2013.

The Government is committed to restoring our rivers to health while supporting a viable irrigation industry, a sustainable food production for strong regional communities across the Murray-Darling Basin.

More information about the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program including the funding guidelines and application form is available at: www.environment.gov.au/water/programs/srwui/irrigation-efficiency.html or by calling 1800 218 478.