Apple and wine grape growers can now apply for grants to help them after orchard and crop loss from the Black Summer fires of 2019-20.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said that governments recognised the unique hardships faced by apple and wine grape growers after the bushfires.
“Estimates indicate more than 170 hectares of apple orchards need to be replaced and more than 60,000 tonnes of wine grapes were affected by smoke taint,” said Minister Littleproud.
“We know it takes up to five years to have production up and running again in burnt apple orchards. The $31 million fund to assist apple growers recognises the long lead-time and significant infrastructure requirements for affected apple growers to get back on their feet.
“We also know a large number of wine grape growers, though not directly impacted by fire, had their grapes rendered unusable for wine due to smoke taint.
“The $5 million Wine Grape Smoke Taint grant program will assist these growers to re-establish,” Minister Littleproud said.
Apple growers in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland located in bushfire areas activated under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements can now apply for grants of up to $120,000 per hectare.
Orchardists can use the funding to replace apple trees (of any variety), damaged irrigation infrastructure, trellising, netting, or to cover the costs of clean up and site preparation of damaged orchards.
Wine grape growers who suffered crop loss due to smoke taint in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory but whose vineyards are outside of bushfire activated areas can access up to $10,000 to support their recovery efforts. The growers will need to show that they have experienced a decline in revenue or grapes harvested of 40% or more over a three-month period
The wine grape smoke taint grants may be used to cover salaries, rent, wages, utilities, equipment, fuel, business development, building resiliency and/or financial advice.
Apple and wine grape growers will be required to provide a co-contribution to the value of the grant they apply for.
This $36 million support package for apple and wine grape growers is in addition to the Government’s commitment of more than $242 million for primary producers, growers, and the forestry industry.
Apple and wine grape growers are advised not to self-assess. Please contact your state support agency for advice: