Fund helps justify spending

Fund helps justify spend despite the drought

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Stuart Hulme took the opportunity to use ProWay to modernise his sheep handling equipment on his property at Holbrook, NSW.

Stuart Hulme took the opportunity to use ProWay to modernise his sheep handling equipment on his property at Holbrook, NSW.

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The impact of the drought has prompted the provision of government-funded grants to assist in improving infrastructure on farm and allow for capital expenditure in testing conditions.

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The impact of the drought has prompted the provision of government-funded grants to assist in improving infrastructure on farm and allow for capital expenditure in testing conditions.

One such initiative is the (RAA) Rural Assistance Authority's Farm Innovation Fund.

According to the RAA, the NSW government has committed $1 billion to the Farm Innovation Fund under the Emergency Drought Relief Package 2019-20.

Farm owners who meet the eligibility criteria can borrow a maximum of $1 million per project to build on-farm infrastructure.

The loan term can be up to 20 years with repayments on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annual basis.

The loan scheme can be accessed to improve permanent farm infrastructure, ensure long term productivity and sustainable land use, as well as aiding in difficult seasonal conditions.

The improvements can lead to productivity gains, reduced costs, labour efficiency, improved animal welfare and importantly, longer-term viability and profitability for a farming operation.

One livestock producer who has accessed the fund is Stuart Hulme, a mixed sheep and grain farmer from Holbrook, NSW.

Mr Hulme is taking the opportunity to modernise sheep handling equipment and infrastructure on his 648 hectare property.

A fifth-generation farmer, Mr Hulme knew the fund would assist in updating his 50-year-old sheepyards.

"The Farm Innovation Fund was a good option for investing in infrastructure that was badly needed," he said.

"It means our repayments are approximately $2600 every quarter for the next 20 years and that's achievable from a cash flow perspective."

Designing yards specific to the operation was an important consideration of the project.

Mr Hulme approached ProWay and worked closely with stockyard designer Damien Halloway to achieve the final result.

"I always had plenty of faith that ProWay knew what they were doing," Mr Hulme said.

"When it comes to building new facilities you have to have trust in the people you're working with.

"If it's not right you have to put up with that for a long time."

  • Visit: www.proway.com.au
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