Dairy farmers now have access to $10 million in Federal Government grants to help lower their energy bills and reduce emissions.
The Federal Government announced that grants of up to $20,000 would be available for dairy farm businesses to save energy by:
- Replacing existing equipment with higher efficiency equipment;
- Installing or replacing components to help an existing system run more efficiently;
- Carrying out on-farm audits; and
- Monitoring energy use and emissions.
Funding for this program will be distributed between states in proportion to the number of dairy farms in each jurisdiction.
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) president Terry Richardson welcomed the announcement, which fulfilled a request made by the farmer group in its 2019 federal election platform.
"Dairy farmers are facing pressure from high production costs that are, in many cases, outstripping their income," Mr Richardson said.
"We called on the Government to provide relief to businesses installing or upgrading to more energy efficient or renewable energy systems.
"These grants will not only mitigate the excessive cost of energy, but also contribute to the dairy industry's target to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030."
Mr Richardson said the grants were part of a $22 million support package promised to dairy farmers in the lead up to last year's election, which also included over $1 million in projects to be delivered by ADF.
"We have been working with the government since the last election to ensure that these projects, including a new dairy industry trading platform and a real-time payment and information sharing capacity utilising blockchain technology, are rolled out to benefit all dairy farmers and the wider industry," Mr Richardson said.
"These projects aim to create a more level playing field between all parts of the dairy supply chain, in line with recommendations made by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) in its Dairy Inquiry."
Further guidelines and application forms for the energy grants are available here, or by calling 13 28 46. Applications will close on 17 August 2020.
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