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FARMERS in O’Connor will have access to practical support to cope with drought after the Federal Government committed another $50 million for the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the rebate could be used to drill new bores, desilt dams and provide more piping for livestock producers and horticulturalists with permanent plantings.

“This grant has been extremely popular in my electorate due to the dry conditions currently being experienced,” Mr Wilson said.

“The fund was fully allocated so I wrote to the Federal and State Minister’s requesting further funding to this important scheme.

“I’m thrilled the Federal minister has listened and has allocated further funding and urge the State Government to contribute to this fund.”

The additional $50 million has been made available this financial year so farmers could maintain animal welfare, keep trees and vines alive – and emerge from drought with better tools to help them drive profitability and productivity.

“This investment in our farmers provides rebates of up to 25 per cent of eligible infrastructure costs, capped at $25,000,” Mr Wilson said.

“This rebate is valuable because it helps farmers manage the here and now when it comes to keeping livestock watered and permanent plantings alive.

“It’s even more valuable because the infrastructure investment means they are more productive and better prepared for the next inevitable drought in years to come.”

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said across the country there were more than 2000 applications that would have missed out on funding if the additional funding was not made available, because the scheme is over subscribed.

“My intention is to make this support work even harder by partnering with the states and territories who must match the Commonwealth funding for eligible on-farm water infrastructure projects,” Mr Pitt said.

For more information about the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website.

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australia Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.