Water security priceless for farming familyDate: 2015 04 23
The NSW Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Program has helped the Weller family get back on their feet and recover from a water shortage on their property at Swan Vale, in the NSW Northern Tablelands.
Peter and Karen Weller and their sons Glen and Andrew have been farming Hereford cattle and first-cross ewes on their 832-hectare farm and say for the past three years, a lack of water and a severe shortage of grass has been a real issue on the property and has impacted on their livelihood.
"Like many drought-affected farmers in NSW, continuing to run our property without adequate water for their livestock has been a challenge," Mrs Weller said.
"At one stage, we only had four of a total of 33 dams with any water.
"We've had to reduce stock numbers from 380 breeders to just 21 breeders on our property and 41 breeders on agistment."
In 2014, the Wellers applied for an Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate to help offset the cost of investing in water infrastructure. The rebate helped the Wellers to install a bore with around seven kilometres of 50mm polypipe, two 22500 L water storage tanks, sixteen stock water troughs, a submersible pump and a diesel generator.
"In the short-term, the bore installation has really improved water availability and water quality on our property," Mr Weller said.
"Now, thanks to the EWIR, for the first time in many years all of our livestock have access to water in every paddock.
"Having access to bore water is an insurance policy against the impacts of future droughts and dry conditions on our property, we can also maintain our breeding stock numbers with supplementary feeding knowing we have available water."
General Manager, Rural Assistance Authority, John Newcombe, said the EWIR Program is available only to those farm businesses experiencing a one-in-50-year rainfall deficiency as identified by the Bureau of Meteorology's latest rainfall data.
"With some assistance, such as the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate program, farmers can reduce the costs of installing necessary water infrastructure to maintain their farm production helping to make their farm more sustainable and drought-proof," Mr Newcombe said.
The maximum that can be claimed is $20,000 per farm enterprise, which includes any rebate already received under this program since November 2013.
All works must be completed by 30 June 2015.
For more information, or to apply visit the website
Media contact: Sarah Wright 6391 3686, 0427 075 167