Farmers call for water infrastructure rebate

NSW Farmers today called on the Federal Government to give applicants for the emergency water infrastructure rebate the extra 25 percent contribution which they are eligible for.

The call comes following farmers in New South Wales receiving news from the Rural Assistance Authority, the body responsible for processing claims, that some people will not be receiving the full 75 per cent rebate they had budgeted for when undertaking works on their property.

NSW Farmers’ President Fiona Simson said: “While we understand the Federal Government has met its commitment with the funding it has provided, thousands of farmers have undertaken these works and spent money on the understanding a 75 per cent rebate was available.

“In some cases, farmers have borrowed money to undertake these works. “The highly successful scheme has attracted more applicants than was envisaged by both the State and Federal Governments. “Not only can farmers benefit from these works now, it will also help farmers prepare for drought in future years,” Ms Simson said.

NSW Farmers believes communications around the scheme had been poorly handled which had meant many farmers had acted on an expectation that they would receive a 75 per cent rebate (25 percent from the Federal Government).

Ms Simson said that it must now be recognised by the government that it had a duty of care to meet the expectations and actions of farmers who had displayed an overwhelming positive response to the scheme.

“To leave farmers with partial rebates at a time when morale is low and when some parts of the state are experiencing the driest conditions in history is simply unjust,” she concluded.

ends

14 October 2014 

Contact: Amy Williams

Phone: 02 9478 1076

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