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$20 million now available in water irrigation grants

For more information, contact Dave Grills (Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region).

Irrigators in the Mining and Pastoral Region are encouraged to apply for a new $20 million competitive grants program.

Member for Mining and Pastoral Dave Grills MLC said the grants program, announced by his Nationals WA colleague and Water Minister Mia Davies yesterday, would drive investment in innovative water use for irrigated agriculture.

“Irrigation is a mainstay of industry in parts of the Mining and Pastoral Region, particularly in the north-west where it is allowing new agricultural industries to flourish,” Mr Grills said.

“Not only are pastoralists able to improve yields and financial gain through irrigation, they are also diversifying into new industries and entering into new domestic and international markets.”

Mr Grills said the Water Irrigation Innovation Grants program, which is part of the Water for Food program, would continue to encourage new investment to support local industries in regional, remote and rural areas right throughout the electorate.

He said funding of up to $5 million a year would be available to optimise the use of water assets in regional communities for high-value food produce.

“This is another example of the integral Royalties for Regions initiative investing in the future of regional communities by improving economic sustainability and providing job opportunities,” Mr Grills said.

“Funded projects will allow local businesses and farmers to continue to embrace irrigation.”

Mr Grills said the initiative was also designed to address water challenges and potential shortages, capitalising on this vital natural resource.

“Water is such a precious resource and I’m pleased these grants are available to help manage our State’s finite supplies and ensure water is used efficiently,” he said.

Nationals WA candidate for the Kimberley Rob Houston said the Kimberley region would greatly benefit from the $20 million Royalties for Regions-funded initiative.

“These grants will help both small-scale and larger operations to increase their profitability, and will see local ventures continue to thrive,” Mr Houston said.

“The whole State benefits when Kimberley industries go from strength to strength and take advantage of new opportunities.

“Irrigation is set to play a key role in plans to triple the value of the Kimberley’s food and agricultural industries to $1 billion per year, as outlined in the Kimberley Regional Investment Blueprint.”

Funding will be considered for regional projects such as closed system technologies for horticultural enterprises, the development of feasibility and market studies, demonstration and infrastructure projects.

Successful projects must demonstrate their capacity to leverage investment and how they would benefit the community, the region and the economy.

Water for Food is a $116 million Royalties for Regions State Government program delivering projects with the aim of significantly increasing irrigated agriculture across WA.

For more information, visit http://www.waterforfood.wa.gov.au

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 90711 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au