Whole Farm Plan funding – new round, new rules

Whole farm planning incentives are now available to land managers with properties in the Shepparton Irrigation Region, comprising of Central Goulburn, Murray Valley, Shepparton and Rochester irrigation areas only.

Sustainable Irrigation Program Manager from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Carl Walters said the incentives provided a win-win for farmers and the community, leading to positive outcomes for the environment and increases in on-farm productivity.

“Whole farm planning allows land managers to consider the protection and enhancement of the farm’s natural features, and results in improved land management, water use efficiency and increased production,” Mr Walters said.

There are changes to the whole farm planning incentive this year.  The incentive now covers up to 85 per cent of whole farm plan design costs only, to maximum rates per hectare.  Incentives for the survey part of the whole farm plan are no longer available.  

Mr Walters said this change to a ‘design only’ incentive will enable the involvement of more land managers and properties across the region. Investing in farm design enables the layout of infrastructure to deliver water and manage runoff effectively and efficiently across the farm, as well as protecting natural features.

“The Whole Farm Plan Incentive Scheme has provided land managers with financial incentives for more than 25 years.

“Over that time incentives have been paid for survey, design, plan endorsement and financial planning and has led to more efficient irrigation, improved drainage and re-use, and the enhancement and protection of vegetation and wetlands on more than 4000 properties across the Shepparton Irrigation Region.”

The scheme is administered by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) on behalf of the Goulburn Broken CMA and is funded through the Victorian Government Sustainable Water Management - Investment in Irrigation Initiative, announced in this years' State Budget.

Land managers who have previously participated in the Scheme often comment on how beneficial it is to have a whole farm plan to help capture the vision for their properties.  Land managers also appreciate the independent advice and one-on-one support provided by the DEDJTR officer during the design process.

Eligibility for participation in the Farmwater Consortium ’On-farm Irrigation Efficiency Program’ is also dependent on the completion of a whole farm plan, so we  recommend participation in the scheme in preparation for future funding of this program. 

In order to be eligible for an incentive land managers should note:

  • No design is allowed to commence prior to their whole farm plan incentive application being approved.
  •  A DEDJTR officer needs to be included in design discussions.
  • All survey and design work needs to meet minimum standards.

Land managers with properties in the Shepparton Irrigation Region who are interested in applying for this incentive should contact the Whole Farm Plan Coordinator Julie Engström, at DEDJTR Tatura on (03) 5833 5212.