NSW Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation
Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation (STBIFM) is a program being delivered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). The Australian Government are providing $83M of funding from the ‘Water for the Future’ initiative.
STBIFM will improve the long term sustainability of regional communities by allowing irrigators to maintain or improve productivity, adapt to reduced water availability and provide water back to the environment through upgrading irrigation infrastructure in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi/Peel and Macquarie/Cudgegong water management areas.
STBIFM aims to achieve water savings by improving on-farm water use efficiency (WUE) and reduce the direct extraction of water from the regulated river water sources from each valley.
STBIFM will be implemented up to October 2017 however, annual reviews of the uptake of the infrastructure incentives will guide the ongoing availability of funding opportunities and continuation of the project.
DPI will also develop and deliver a capacity building and skills development program to complement the infrastructure incentives.
For further specific enquiries on STBIFM please email: IFM.Info@dpi.nsw.gov.au
On-farm water savings projects announced
On-farm water saving projects worth $23.5 million have been approved under the second round of the $83 million NSW Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation Project, Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced.
Ms Hodgkinson said 44 projects have been recommended for funding for projects across the Macquarie, Namoi, Peel and Border Rivers regions.
“These projects are beneficial for agriculture, the environment and regional communities,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Irrigators in a number of regions – including Narromine, Trangie, Dubbo, Gunnedah Moree, Tamworth, Warren and Wee Waa – will save about 8.5 gigalitres of water through on-farm irrigation efficiencies delivered as a result of the second round projects.
“More than half of the projected water savings will be returned to the environment with the remaining savings to be used on-farm to boost farm productivity and regional economic activity.
“The projects clearly demonstrate the commitment of the NSW Government to achieving water savings through infrastructure and maintaining regional communities at the same time.”
Ms Hodgkinson said irrigators will contribute $5.9m, or about 25 per cent of the costs, to the second round of projects.
The successful projects cover a wide range of activities across the project area, including:
- The installation of lateral and centre pivot irrigation machines
- The upgrade of supply channels
- The installation of recirculation systems
- The reconfiguration of fields
- The installation of new pumps and pump sites
- The development of new storage dams
- The installation of new drip irrigation systems
Ms Hodgkinson said helping irrigators to maintain or improve productivity and adapt to reduced water availability will support the long-term sustainability of regional communities.
Irrigators can register their interest in round three by emailing IFM.firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribing to the project update bulletin service.
The project is funded by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future initiative and is part of the larger $500m NSW Sustaining the Basin Project.
Flexible tax treatment options are now available for irrigators
DPI advise that there has been amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 which are relevant to current or potential participants in STBIFM.
Recent changes to income tax law now mean that some taxpayers who receive eligible payments derived from the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (SRWUIP) have a choice in how the payments may be treated for income tax purposes. The NSW STBIFM is an eligible program for the purpose of these tax changes.
Irrigators can choose to have their eligible payments treated as either:
- ordinary income, in which case they can include the payments and any related capital gains and losses in their tax return; or
- non assessable non-exempt income (NANE), in which case they do not include the payments in their income tax return. Any related capital gains and losses, or any deductions that are connected to these payments, are also excluded from their income tax return.
If they choose the NANE option it only applies to eligible payments received on or after 1 April 2010. This choice of tax treatment only applies to eligible payments received from the Commonwealth directly or indirectly through a regional water supplier or irrigation organisation, including NSW DPI.
To find out more about the changes and how they may apply to your circumstances, refer to the ATO website
DPI advises that this information should not be taken as taxation advice and strongly encourages STBIFM participants to consult their tax advisor regarding the changes and any implications for their participation in NSW STBIFM.
In this section
- Eligibility and incentives
Eligibility criteria, project area maps, incentives available, case studies and testimonials.
- IFWUEAs and Approved Irrigation Consultants
IFWUEA funding guidelines, how to submit an EOI, Example IFWUEA and forms.
Training opportunities and course information.
- Useful resources
General resources, irrigation management and evaluation resources, case studies, slide shows and videos.
- Useful links
Links to relevant programs and stakeholder websites.
- Update bulletins