ACT farmers’ support package

Sunset image by Sujay KrishnamoorthiThe ACT Government has announced an assistance package for the ACT’s rural landholders as a result of the current dry conditions.

This follows on from work we’ve done with farmers in recent years to build their resilience for dealing with the increasing likelihood of dry conditions due to climate change.

The package is designed to support those farmers in need and also further prepare them for the future.

ACT Rural Resilience Grants

A new grant program totalling up to $150,000 for 2018/19 is supporting rural landholders across the ACT to implement drought resilience activities on farm.

Seventeen projects will support landholders to improve their stock water (water to keep sheep, cattle and other farm animals alive) through constructing or de-silting dams, installing bores and tanks, installing pipes and troughs to extend water into areas where dams have dried up, and accessing off-stream water through construction of pumps, pipes and troughs.

A further seven projects will assist landholders to construct fodder conservation infrastructure such as silos and hay sheds. These projects will enable landholders to buy or grow their own stock fodder such as oats or lucerne and store this fodder and protect from the elements until they need to feed it out to their stock, taking the pressure off their soils and pastures. Most of landholders are also planning to use the fodder storing sheds to harvest rainfall for stock water purposes.

Two projects will assist landholders to install fencing to manage kangaroo numbers on their properties and reduce the total grazing pressure on their farm – thus protecting soils and pastures particularly during these dry times.

The 26 projects supported under the ACT Rural Resilience Grants are:

Projects

Area

Drought proofing a large section of the property by accessing town water for stock water and installing pipes, troughs

Lanyon

Installation of a fodder silo to store drought stock feed

Naas

Installation of a fodder silo to store drought stock feed

Majura Valley

Installation of a tank to provide additional water for livestock as other sources dry up

Urriara

Installation of two stock water tanks to harvest water from an existing shed to improve drought stock water supply

Tharwa

Installation of a solar powered pump to supply farm dams with surface water from Spring Station Creek at times when the dams are low or empty during drought

Tharwa

Construction of a dam to open up paddocks currently without stock water to enable improved access and management of pastures during drought

Tidbinbilla

Installation of pipes, tanks, troughs to extend water to areas of farm where farm dams have dried up

Symonston

Installation of bores, tanks, pipes and troughs to provide areas of the property with stock water, where dams have dried

Point Hut Crossing

Construction of a fodder shed to store more fodder during and prior to drought

Belconnen

Install water supply adjacent to Gudgenby River to provide reliable off-stream stock water as dams dry up

Booth

Fencing to create a drought sacrifice paddock and installation of stock water

Kowen

Installation of an additional tank to supplement stock water during drought

Symonston

Provision of two extra water tanks for stock water to provide greater resilience during drought

Naas

Construction of fodder storage facility to allow storage and improved provision of stock feed during drought

Naas

Construction of a stock water dam and installation of a pipe and trough system to pipe water to areas where dam water has dried up and to take pressure of local streams during drought

Tharwa

Advice and implementation of pest animal control and construction of a farm watering system to reduce overgrazing and improve drought resilience

Jerrabomberra

Construction of a hay shed for drought fodder storage

Naas

Increase stock water storage and distribution around the property to ensure property more resilient to drought

Tuggeranong

Installation of 5km of kangaroo proof fencing to reduce total grazing pressure on pastures during drought

Tidbinbilla

Install two tanks and troughs and pipes to provide additional stock water during drought as dams dry up

Naas

Construction of a hay shed for drought fodder storage to maintain stock and groundcover health during drought

Tharwa

New hay shed to store hay to make the property more drought resilient

Kowen

De-silt existing dried-up farm dam to allow sufficient on-farm water storage in times of future drought

Tidbinbilla

Build a fodder shed to store drought fodder to ensure property more resilient during drought

Naas

Dam repair and desilting of two dams to protect and improve stock water during drought

Majura Valley

This program follows on from the ACT Rural Grants which ran from 2013 to 2018 and helped farmers achieve sustainable agriculture outcomes.

Relief grazing

The ACT Government is endeavoring to locate areas that may be used for relief grazing for a short period of time. There is currently a block in Hume identified.

If you are interested in potentially accessing this relief grazing please contact the Rural Services team on 6207 3587 or email act.ruralservices@act.gov.au.

Transport subsidy

A transport subsidy scheme has been introduced in line with the NSW Government’s model.

This will provide a subsidy of up to $20,000 on transport of fodder and/or water to a property as well as the movement of stock during the 2018-19 financial year. Payments of up to 50% of freight costs (capped at $20,000) can be made on eligible, paid tax receipts which demonstrate transport occurring between 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

The ACT Government have updated the eligibility criteria in line with recent changes to the NSW Government drought assistance strategy. Previously, owners and operators of the business were not eligible if they did have gross off-farm assets exceeding $1,000,000 (excluding funds in a registered superannuation fund). This amount has been increased to $5,000,000.

Application guidelines and claim form are now available as PDF and Word.

Applicants also need to complete the relevant transport record.

Would you like help putting together an application?

If you are interested and would like to discuss a potential application please contact Warren Schofield on 6207 8480 or email act.ruralservices@act.gov.au.

Requirements for fodder purchased from interstate

Farmers are reminded of their biosecurity obligations when purchasing and transporting fodder. These requirements are designed to minimise the impact and risk of pests and weeds.

Australian Government assistance

The Australian Government provides a variety of assistance programs to farmers.

On 5 August 2018, the Australian Government expanded eligibility for the Farm Household Allowance by raising the cap on total farm net assets from $2.6 million to $5 million and announced additional assistance to farmers receiving Farm Household Allowance via two lump sum supplementary payments of up to $6000 on 1 September 2018 and 1 March 2019.

Photo credit: Sujay Krishnamoorthi