New Grants

As part of the $5.8 billion Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program under Water for the Future, the Australian Government is providing $300 million for the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (the Program).

Closing Date: 17 November 2009

The Program aims to assist irrigators in the Lachlan and southern.connected system of the Murray-Darling Basin to modernise their on-farm irrigation infrastructure and return water to the environment. The southern-connected system includes the New South Wales Murray, Victorian Murray, South Australia Murray, Murrumbidgee, Kiewa, Ovens, Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca, and the lower Darling (south of Menindee Lakes) river catchments.

How much funding is available?

The Australian Government has committed $300 million which will be awarded through three competitive rounds over four years commencing 2009-10.

Who can apply?

Program funding will be provided to organisations that have direct links with irrigators and will act as program delivery partners. Program delivery partners will use the funding provided by the Program to fund individual irrigator sub-projects.

A program delivery partner must:

  • have direct and demonstrable links to irrigators;
  • be a legal entity and registered with the Australian Tax Office; and
  • be able to enter into a contract with the government and negotiate and enter into contracts with irrigators for individual projects.

Who cannot apply?

Individual irrigators, state governments and local government bodies cannot apply directly for funding. Individual irrigator sub-projects are funded via Delivery Partners.

Individual irrigators are advised to contact an organisation who is an eligible delivery partner if they would like to propose an irrigation infrastructure project on their farm. To find out more about being a delivery partner refer to the Program Guidelines available on the program website.

What types of activities are eligible to be a project?

  • Installing new or upgrading existing irrigation infrastructure or technology
  • Improving irrigated area layout or design for the purpose of improving irrigation efficiency
  • Ancillary equipment necessary for new or upgraded irrigation systems to function (e.g. computer equipment)
  • Capital costs of new/upgraded irrigation equipment as well as the cost of installation

What types of activities are not eligible to be a project?

  • Research and development projects
  • Upgrading existing or installing new irrigation systems for urban or industrial land uses
  • Application of different management approaches such as crop rotation or use of new plant types
  • Projects converting irrigated land to dryland agriculture
  • On-going labour and maintenance costs of operating new or existing infrastructure or closing down infrastructure
  • Projects that have been completed or have already commenced
  • Projects that establish irrigation on farms not previously irrigated or new irrigation districts
  • Planning activities and costs associated with development of on-farm water efficiency plans

More Information

Funding for on-farm irrigation infrastructure improvements is available through several federal and state programs. This program is available in the Lachlan and southern connected system of the Murray-Darling Basin only.

Irrigators outside this region who are interested in applying for funding are advised to seek further information on a program available in their area.

For more information on the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program, including Program guidelines and application form visit; or email; or call 1800 218 47

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