Good news for Murrumbidgee Valley irrigators

12 Dec 2012 3:47 PM - Minister announces Round 3 funding

The Hon Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities announced this week that the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) will be a Delivery Partner in Round Three of the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program.   

 Executive Director of the RGA, Ruth Wade, said that the RGA would be the lead agency for the Murrumbidgee Valley On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Consortium partnering with Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited, Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited, High Security Irrigators – Murrumbidgee Inc, Wine Grapes Marketing Board, Murrumbidgee Groundwater Inc, Murrumbidgee Private Irrigators Inc, and the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority.

 She said that the partners are very pleased that irrigators in the Murrumbidgee Valley will again receive funding for on-farm irrigation infrastructure investment.

 “The Federal Government has announced “In-Principle” approval for up to $29,618,253 which is most welcome as no funding was received for projects in the Murrumbidgee in Round 2 of this program.

However it is still disappointing that the funding approved is less than half the value of the application the consortium submitted in July 2012.  Expressions of Interest (EOIs) were lodged for 216 projects, totalling almost $73 million, so many proponents who completed EOIs will not have their projects funded” Mrs Wade said.

 The consortium team will now work with irrigators to ensure that their proposed individual projects are eligible for final funding approval.

 Mrs Wade said “This initiative by the Federal Government is extremely important to ensure that irrigators can continue to improve their on-farm irrigation efficiency, maintain their productive capacity, and return water to the environment.

 The program helps not just the irrigation farmers but the local businesses and services which rely on those farmers so it is an added benefit for the entire region.”

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