Horticulture netting program guidelines for apple and pear growers

The purpose of the horticultural netting program is to assist primary producers who grow apples and/or pears to buy and install horticultural netting to reduce the impact of adverse weather events.

The scheme is funded by the Australian Government and is administered in Queensland by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) for Queensland primary producers.

The scheme is open to applications from 24 May 2021.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a grant under the scheme:

  • you must be a property owner, share-farmer, or lessee of an apple or pear farm
  • you must be an apple and/or pear grower who is a primary producer. For the purposes of this scheme, a primary producer is a person, or a partner in a partnership, company or trust, who spends more than 50% of their labour on and gets more than 50% of their gross income from a primary-production enterprise
  • the activity must have been undertaken on or after 16 December 2019
  • your application must be received in Brisbane before 30 June 2023.

Eligible activities

Eligible activities must be directly linked to buying and installing permanent protective netting and associated support structures.

All activities and goods must be supplied by an appropriately qualified supplier or contractor and must be paid in full.

Examples of eligible activities are:

  • buying permanent protective netting and associated infrastructure such as poles (either new infrastructure or to replace existing infrastructure that has been damaged or requires replacing)
  • hiring someone to install permanent protective netting and associated infrastructure
  • hiring someone to do preparatory work necessary to install permanent protective netting (for example, removing existing netting).

Ineligible activities

The subsidy does not apply to:

  • buying and installing drape netting
  • projects that have already received assistance from State or Australian Government grants to achieve the same objectives
  • projects where the netting and/or support structures have been damaged by the bushfires of 2019–20
  • projects where insurance has been claimed for damaged netting and/or associated support structures
  • purchases or work before 16 December 2019
  • feasibility studies, business cases, reports and development plans
  • costs associated with preparing applications for funding
  • operational costs, including wages, utilities, self-installation, repairs and maintenance.

Subsidy rates

The subsidy rate is 50% of the cost of eligible invoices to a maximum of $150,000. You can submit more than 1 application but can receive no more than $150,000.

If funding is still available 12 months from the start of the scheme, you could receive more funding, but not more than $300,000 over the lifetime of the scheme.

How to apply

You must submit the claim within 6 months from the date on the invoice. However, applications will be considered for work dated on the invoice on or after 16 December 2019 and before the commencement of the scheme. In this case, you must apply within 6 months from the date the scheme opens to applications on 24 May 2021.

  1. If you haven't yet undertaken the activity, we encourage you to first phone DAF on 13 25 23 to discuss your proposal.
  2. Contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 or info@daf.qld.gov.au to request an application form.
  3. Complete the application form and attach the invoices you want a rebate on. Submitting an application does not guarantee funding will be approved. For example, if the invoice does not relate to an eligible activity, or if available funding from the Australian Government has been exhausted.
  4. Keep a copy of your tax invoices for your records.
  5. Submit your completed application form, quotes and tax invoices, as well as photos where available, by post or email.

Address

Horticulture Netting Program
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Level 12
GPO Box 46
BRISBANE  QLD  4001

Email: droughtdeclarations@daf.qld.gov.au

Processing times

We aim to process all claims within 1 month of receipt. Incomplete claims, or claims that do not clearly meet the eligibility requirement, may take longer. To ensure your claim is processed as quickly as possible, make sure you've provided all the required information and that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Payment method

Our preferred method of payment is direct electronic transfer into your bank account, however, you may request payment by cheque. You can indicate this on your form.

Assessment and conditions of assistance

Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria.

We will assess applications strictly in the order we received them.

DAF reserves the right to request further information from you, or from any business or individual you have engaged, to help assess your application and to verify any information in your application. If you don't provide this information, we may refuse your application.

DAF also reserves the right to refuse an application for any reason or for no reason, regardless of whether the eligibility criteria have been met.

Applicants must consent to DAF publishing a list of successful applicants. This list will include the funding provided to them.

Applicants must consent to the Australian Government or DAF conducting an audit of the documentation used to support an application, to verify information provided.

Approved applicants may be asked to provide a report to DAF on the outcomes of the assistance within 2 years after receiving the assistance, including:

  • how many hectares were covered by the netting
  • the impact the assistance has had on their primary production enterprise.

Approved applicants must keep records related to all funded activities, including tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements, quotations, or other similar records, for 2 years after applying.

Fraudulent applications

By signing the application form, you are declaring that:

  • you have read the guidelines and the information provided in the application form
  • supporting documentation is true and accurate.

Providing inaccurate, untrue or misleading information may be a breach of criminal law for which serious penalties may apply. If any information provided in an application or supporting documentation is found to be inaccurate, untrue or misleading, legal action may be taken against you, including action to recover the approved funds.

Appeal and review process

You may not be awarded any or all of the assistance you applied for because we did not think that you meet the eligibility criteria (for example, we might believe that you don't qualify as a 'primary producer' for the purpose of this scheme). If this is the case, you may request that the decision is reconsidered by:

  • writing to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
  • outlining the reasons why you believe you are eligible or the decision should be reviewed
  • including any additional supporting evidence.

Payment of a declined, or partially declined, claim may be approved at the Minister's discretion, if the Minister considers that the evidence provided by you shows that you meet the eligibility criteria and there is available funding. The Minister cannot review a decision to not provide you with the rebate if the reason for this decision was because available funding from the Australian Government has been exhausted.

Guidelines

Availability of assistance is subject to funds being made available by the Australian Government.

DAF or the Australian Government may cancel or suspend this scheme or change the eligibility criteria at any time without notice.

These guidelines are correct at the time of publishing. DAF and the Australian Government reserve the right to change these guidelines at any time. It is your responsibility to check this web page frequently. The guidelines that apply to your application will be the guidelines that are current at the time we receive your application.

While DAF has taken all care in preparing these guidelines, DAF will not be liable in any way for any errors, omissions or variation to information in these guidelines, or for not advising an applicant of any errors, omissions or variations to information in these guidelines.

Any applications received after 30 June 2023 will not be eligible for assistance.