ACT: ACT Farmers’ Support Package

Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Environment ACT Government

The 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.

National On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate

The ACT Government is administering the National On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme on behalf of the Australian Government. The scheme will run over 3 years from 1 July 2018 with the aim to improve farm resilience to drought by:

  • addressing animal welfare needs during drought
  • assisting primary producers to be more resilient for future droughts
  • assisting primary producers to be more productive through the installation of new water infrastructure
  • assisting in mitigating the degradation of natural watering points.

The Scheme offers a 25% rebate to eligible rural landholders for the costs associated with the purchase and installation of on-farm stock water infrastructure. To be eligible for assistance within the ACT an applicant must:

  • be an ACT rural leaseholder
  • own farm stock in the ACT (cattle, sheep, horses, goats) that will benefit from additional stock water infrastructure on the ACT rural leasehold
  • install stock water infrastructure for which the rebate is being sought on a rural property in the ACT
  • seek rebates for stock water infrastructure purchased/paid for after 30 June 2018.

The eligible infrastructure and activities:

The purchase and installation of:

  • pipes
  • water storage devices such as tanks and troughs associated with stock watering
  • water pumps

The drilling of new stock water bores and associated power supply such as generators

Desilting dams.

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.

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

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.


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