Article by: Hari Yellina
The Tasmanian government released the following statement: “As a government, we are delivering a number of initiatives to future-proof Tasmanian agriculture and manage primary industry risks.” New awards have been established to assist Tasmanian fruit and vegetable growers in covering the expenses of protective netting. With $1.94 million pledged to fund netting infrastructure in Tasmania, the Australian Government’s Horticultural Netting Program Trial has been expanded. Eligible fruit and vegetable growers can apply for a subsidy of up to 50% of the cost of purchasing and installing netting under the programme, with a maximum grant sum of $150,000 available.
Protective netting is an expensive investment for horticulturists across Australia, yet it is necessary to mitigate the effects of weather and pests. Following success in other states, the latest funds will help to create resilience and value in the horticulture industry, and Tasmania’s inclusion in the extended national programme recognises the significant role Tasmania plays in the Australian agricultural economy. Tasmania has set a goal of growing Tasmanian agriculture’s farm gate value to $10 billion by 2050, which fits with the national goal of a $100 billion sector by 2030. The money will go toward securing Australia’s food supply while the country recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak and other natural disasters, notably in Tasmania. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania administers the grant programme. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2023.
Eligible actions must be directly related to the purchase and installation of permanent or throw-over protective netting and accompanying support structures in order to boost horticulture productivity, mitigate the effects of bad weather occurrences or animal predation, and save water.
Before submitting an application, applicants should read the Guidelines and carefully evaluate the qualifying criteria as well as permissible and prohibited actions. From May 24, 2022, until March 31, 2023, applications for the Horticultural Netting Infrastructure Program will be accepted.