River

Round 5 opens as Round 3 Farm Water works finish

On-farm infrastructure improvement works in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District have received a further funding boost as Round 5 of the Farm Water Program opens for Registrations of Interest.

The program – being delivered by the local Farm Water consortium – now has $44 million of funding for works under Tranche 2B of the Victorian Farm Modernisation Project available. Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) CEO Chris Norman said the Farm Water Program was a great boost for the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID), increasing farm productivity, saving water and improving the environment. 

“$130 million funding has been provided to over 500 projects in the GMID in past rounds, resulting in total water savings of 68 GL for the region. Round 3 projects are now finished, Round 4 projects are under way and Round 5 will see on-farm irrigation improvement works continue through to 2018,” Mr Norman said.

“For Round 5, there is a Priority Call this time to enable irrigators to submit ‘work-ready projects’ early for fast tracking through the assessment and approval process. Interested irrigators should review the Eligibility Criteria and Frequently Asked Questions to see if their projects are eligible. Eligible projects can range from the installation of pipes and risers, irrigation scheduling and pressurised systems, through to laser grading, gravity channel irrigation and drainage reuse.

“This round, the Farm Water consortium has negotiated a reduction in the percentage water transferred to 55 per cent in response to irrigator concerns about water availability, whilst delivering on the directions of the Basin Plan. The price offered this round for projects is also in line with the current water market.” 

By the close of registrations, irrigators must ensure they:

  • own the land on which the works will be done and own high reliability water shares;
  • are willing to transfer the agreed water savings (expected to be 55%) to the Commonwealth Government (through the Goulburn Broken CMA) to support Victoria’s contribution of the Murray Darling Basin Plan;
  • have a Whole Farm Plan that meets minimum standards and shows the proposed works;
  • have an executed GMW legal agreement connecting the property to a GMW backbone available and/or know the proposed project area connects to an outlet on an approved GMW backbone;
  • can cover specified cash flow for the final project costs before final payment is made by the GB CMA; and
  • most importantly ring the Farm Water Program Hotline to register.

Irrigators who think they meet these and other eligibility criteria for the Priority Call, must register their interest on the Goulburn Broken CMA Farm Water Program hotline – (03) 5822 7788 – by 4pm Friday, May 27 2016. A General Call for projects for Round 5 is expected to follow the Priority Call. The price offered and percentage water transferred at the Priority and General Calls will be the same.

The Farm Water Program consortium – led by the Goulburn Broken CMA – includes North Central CMA, North East CMA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Goulburn Murray Water, Dairy Australia, Murray Dairy and Northern Victorian irrigators.

More information regarding the Farm Water Program and requirements for applications is available here.