Dairy farmers across Wide Bay can now apply for grants that to help their farms become more energy-efficient and to reduce their power bills, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced today.
“Supporting the long-term sustainability of our dairy farmers is critical to the Wide Bay economy and Australia’s food security, and these grants will provide much-needed financial support at a time when so many in the dairy industry are struggling after years of unfair milk pricing and drought,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This is an election commitment delivered by the Liberal and Nationals Government to help dairy farmers lower their power bills and reduce Australia’s emissions, ensuring the dairy industry remains strong into the future.”
Grants of up to $20,000 will be available for a dairy farming business to upgrade equipment to reduce energy consumption, invest in monitoring systems to better manage energy use, and conduct energy audits to investigate other opportunities for energy-efficient activities.
Energy use in milk cooling, milk harvesting and hot water production is one of the highest overheads in the dairy industry, costing dairy farmers as high as $12,800 per 100 cows each year.
“Dairy farming businesses are a huge asset to regional economies including Wide Bay, and supporting the long-term sustainability of our dairy farmers is critical to the sustainability of regional Australia,” Mr O’Brien said.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the program is focused on helping dairy farming businesses to lower their power bills by becoming more energy efficient.
“Farmers have long been at the forefront of innovation to reduce their cost of doing business and their emissions output, but energy costs remain high for many in our dairy sector, especially when farmers are doing it tough on the back of bushfires and COVID19,” Mr Taylor said.
“The Government’s support will help dairy farmers in their efforts to better manage their energy use while also continuing to play a role in reducing global emissions.”
The Energy Efficient Communities Program was announced as part of the Government’s Climate Solutions Package in the 2019 Federal Budget. $10 million has been made specifically available for the dairy round.
To ensure equitable distribution across dairying regions, funding will be available in each state in proportion to the number of dairy farms.
Grant guidelines and application forms for the dairy round are available at business.gov.au, or by telephone on 13 28 46. Applications will close on 17 August 2020.