Eligibility and incentives

Who is eligible to participate?

Photo of an overhead irrigation systemThe program operates in water management areas of the northern NSW Murray-Darling Basin. Irrigators in the NSW Border Rivers and Lower Namoi catchments may submit an application for Infrastructure Modernisation Funding.

Irrigators in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi/Peel, Macquarie/Cudgegong and Barwon-Darling catchments may participate in subsidised training and development activities associated with the program.

IFWUEAs are now available to irrigators with eligible water entitlements in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi/Peel, Macquarie/Cudgegong and/or Barwon/Darling water management areas

The following are not eligible to participate in STBIFM:

  • private entities that own or operate infrastructure for the purpose of delivering water to other persons for the primary purpose of irrigation, and
  • Federal or State agencies or Local Government bodies.

DPI encourages all interested irrigators to register for the project update service.

All general enquiries should be sent to IFM.info@dpi.nsw.gov.au

What are the essential criteria?

To submit an application for Infrastructure Modernisation Funding applicants must:

  1. Have satisfied the IFWUEA verification requirements, ie had their IFWUEA verified by DPI,
  2. Propose, and be willing and able to implement, a technically feasible on-farm works project on land upon which the water entitlement(s) nominated for transfer may be used at the time of application,
  3. Propose an on-farm works project that recovers irrigation losses identified in their IFWUEA and achieves the estimated water savings,
  4. Be willing and able to permanently transfer at least 50 per cent (up to a maximum of 100 per cent) of estimated water savings from an eligible water source to the NSW Government, with a minimum transfer of 10 megalitres,
  5. Be a legal entity, or legal entities, with the capacity to contract. DPI may require evidence of an irrigator's legal status or capacity to contract as well as evidence of any authorised signatories.  If an irrigator proposes to contract in their capacity as trustees, such evidence may include relevant trust deeds,
  6. Be willing and able to enter into a legally binding agreement with DPI to undertake on-farm works and permanently transfer unencumbered water access entitlements to the NSW Government,
  7. Be willing and able to contribute an amount of financial or in-kind resources towards the on-farm works project (with in-kind resources valued at reasonable contract rates) equivalent to a minimum of 20 per cent of the total cost of the on farm works project,
  8. Be the legal owner of the land upon which on-farm works will be undertaken (or have written authority from the registered owner of the land for the on-farm works to be undertaken),
  9. Be willing and able to comply with applicable requirements of the Building Code of Australia 2013, the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 (Cth), the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) and the OHS Accreditation Scheme (where relevant),
  10. Be willing to implement metering in accordance with STBIFM program requirements.
  11. Be willing and able to provide reasonable access to land where on-farm works have been undertaken to verify expenditure of funding and completion of the on-farm works project.
  12. Registered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for Goods and Services Tax (GST) purposes with a valid Australian Business Number (ABN).

What is an eligible project?

An eligible on-farm works project must be infrastructure based and related to in-field water application, water delivery or water storage components. The on-farm works project may include, but is not limited to, the purchase or upgrade of the following:

Water application infrastructure

  • installing overhead travelling irrigators,
  • earthworks to improve irrigation field efficiency,
  • drip, sprinkler or micro-sprinklers systems,
  • irrigation scheduling tools,

On-farm water delivery infrastructure

  • reconfiguration of pipe or channel systems,
  • lining and/or reconstructing channels,
  • replacing channels with piping systems,
  • pump stations,
  • automated water management and sensing systems,

Water storage infrastructure (evaporation or seepage mitigation)

  • reconfiguration of storages (i.e. cell division or increasing bank height), and
  • clay lining and earthworks to decrease seepage losses.

What project activities are not eligible?

  • activities involving the upgrading of existing or installing new irrigation systems for urban or industrial land uses,
  • activities that are not infrastructure based (eg. changing crop rotation, crop type or crop varieties). These activities may be associated with an otherwise eligible project. However, funding will not be provided to cover the non-infrastructure based components of the project,
  • activities seeking to establish irrigation on farms not previously irrigated or for new irrigation districts (green field sites),
  • activities relating to converting irrigated land to dry-land agriculture,
  • activities relating to the on-going operational, maintenance and labour costs associated with operating new infrastructure or closing down infrastructure,
  • activities relating to projects where the water savings have been surrendered to any other environmental water recovery funding program,
  • works activities relating to projects that have been completed or have already begun (ie funding will not be provided to cover expenditure already incurred by an irrigator or other project participant), and
  • projects involving financial restructuring.

Examples of on-farm infrastructure projects already funded through STBIFM

Slideshows/Case Studies/Testimonials

The Bartel & Williams family, Moree
The Estens Family, Moree
Other case studies
Other testimonials