Increased drought assistance being provided to Victorian farmers
The Victorian Government through Agriculture Victoria of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Agriculture Victoria) has established the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program to assist eligible farm businesses to invest in on-farm drought preparedness and to seek business advice.
A grant of up to $10,000 (GST exclusive) per farm business is available to assist eligible farm businesses to implement on-farm infrastructure improvements and or undertake business planning and advice activities.
The maximum value of the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grants has increased from $5,000 to $10,000 to boost farmers’ access to professional services whilst still enabling farmers to invest in drought preparedness infrastructure.
Eligible farm businesses can now apply for:
- Up to $5,000 for business decision-making activities (with no-contribution required)
- Up to $5,000 for infrastructure investments (with at least 50 per cent co-contribution required)
Farmers who have already received the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant can reapply for further funding to top up their grant up to a total of $5,000 for business decision making activities and $5,000 for infrastructure investments.
The Scheme is available to eligible farm businesses in the following Local Government Areas:
Goulburn Murray Irrigation District
Eligible irrigation farm businesses, including those that have transitioned from irrigation production systems to dryland production since 1 July 2018, located in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID).
Wellington and East Gippsland
Eligible farm businesses located in Wellington Shire and East Gippsland Shire.
Far North West Victoria – Millewa
Eligible dryland farm businesses located in the far north-west corner of Victoria, generally known as the Millewa and surrounding areas. This incorporates the following towns and locality areas in the Mildura Shire: Carwarp, Cullulleraine, Lindsay Point, Meringur, Merrinee, Neds Corner, Wargan and Werrimull.
Business decision making (no co-contribution)
Eligible business decision-making activities are those that will help farmers make decisions about how to manage drought conditions, reposition the farm business, improve on-farm practices or make a significant farm business change. The eligible activity must be purchased and undertaken on or after the 2 October 2019.
Business decision-making activities include engaging professional services to:
- Prepare, review or update strategic business plans
- Undertake a whole farm plan
- Undertake business risk assessment
- Engage agronomic services for the purpose of converting the farm to be more drought resilient (e.g. pasture restoration or improvement plan, feed budgets for drought, managing soils)
- Undertake business benchmarking
- Undertake financial management assessment and planning
- Undertake succession planning
Business decision-making activities must be completed by a consultant who is a full member of a recognised professional body such as CPA, Chartered Accountants, Irrigation Surveyor and Designers Group, Ag Institute Australia.
Infrastructure investment (dollar for dollar co-contribution required)
Eligible infrastructure improvements are those that will improve drought preparedness and better position the farm business into the future. The eligible activity must be purchased and undertaken on or after the 2 October 2019.