WA Government announces $7.3M dam upgrade plan, funding to help farmers hit by climate change

Image Credit: Government of Western Australia | Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

As farmers from the southern half of Western Australia continue to suffer from water security challenges, the McGowan Government made two announcements this Wednesday to help WA farmers deal with climate change.

Firstly, the WA Government announced it has invested $3.65M in a $7.3 million community dam infrastructure project.

With 70 community dams to be upgraded, recommissioned and refurbished as required, the infrastructure investment will be the largest in the State’s history.

“Farmers across southern Western Australia continue to be impacted by reduced rainfall and dry conditions as a result of climate change,” said Water Minister Dave Kelly.

“That’s why the McGowan Government is investing the largest ever amount of funding into this visionary water infrastructure plan, that will provide part of the solution for WA farmers when dealing with the impacts of climate change.

The upgrades should provide vital, non-potable water supplies to farmers during dry spells when on-farm supplies are depleted.

The $7.3 million program will also be party funded by a $3.65 million application to the Federal Government through its National Water Authority.

Secondly, the Minister for Water announced that it has reached an agreement with the Federal Government to get 511 WA farmers paid in full for outstanding applications previously unfunded under the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

Over 900 farmers in WA received water efficiency rebates for the first round of the schemes. However, the dry season pushed subscription beyond manageable levels.

With the announcement, the Government will release $2.8 million in rebates to farmers who have already put in place water infrastructure and short-term solutions to help them deal with climate change, and its subsequent effects.

“I’m also very pleased to see that the McGowan Government’s lobbying efforts have been successful in securing a further $2.8 million in Commonwealth Government rebates for WA farmers,” said Minister Dave Kelly.