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Irrigators urged to update Whole Farm Plans

Wednesday 1 February, 2012
1 February 2012
1 February 2012

Irrigators are being urged to ensure their Whole Farm Plans are up-to-date in light of the huge amount of interest in the Farm Water On Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) CEO Chris Norman said more than 300 registrations for Round Two On-Farm State Priority Project funding were currently being assessed.

“Processing of these applications is still under way, however, it is very clear that there is a huge amount of interest among farmers in improving on-farm irrigation practices and, if the number of eligible projects exceeds the amount of funding available through this round, we may have to hold a ballot,” Mr Norman said.

He said farmers should be notified of their project status by mid-February.

“We are confident that there will be future funding rounds for farm water efficiency projects and therefore encourage irrigators who either did not apply for this round - or who miss out on funding this time - to make sure their Whole Farm Plan accurately reflects the activities they are seeking funding for,” he said.

“It’s very important that the plan and the design submitted match with the project detail. It’s a good idea to revisit your current Whole Farm Plan and seek advice from irrigation designers and contractors. The timeframes for delivering this program are always tight so we are looking for projects that can start as soon as they get the funding green light.”

Mr Norman said it was also important that irrigators were in discussions early with NVIRP about any connections arrangements being reviewed as future rounds were likely to require irrigators to be connected or have a connection agreement.

“The irrigation modernisation project can change the supply point for many properties so the Whole Farm Plan and project design need to incorporate this,” Mr Norman said. “It is frustrating for all involved if the Whole Farm Plan is not accurate because changes to the project cannot be made after the project has been registered. While we do not have a date yet for the next funding call we believe it will be made mid-year and that’s why we’re encouraging people to check their Whole Farm Plan truly reflects the project works they would like funded.”

Current eligibility criteria, along with a list of frequently asked questions, can be downloaded from the Goulburn Broken CMA website, www.gbcma.vic.gov.au ; click on Programs, then Farm Water Program.

RELEASE ENDS

For media-related enquiries, please contact

Fiona Lloyd, Goulburn Broken CMA Farm Water Project Communications Officer

on 58201147 or email fional@gbcma.vic.gov.au