National Netting Program – What you need to knowIndustry Advocacy
Get your cost estimates ready early – that’s the advice from South Australia, which was first cab off the rank when it came to receiving guidelines for the National Netting Program.
In June the South Australian Government announced funding designed to cover the purchase and installation of new netting or the replacement of any damaged netting over land used to grow crops. Funding is matched dollar for dollar by State Government.
With guidelines for the rest of the country set to be released in the near future, growers from other states are advised to be getting relevant information and documents together now in preparation.
At the top of the list is cost estimates from netting suppliers.
Susie Green, CEO of Apple and Pear Growers Association of South Australia (APGASA), advised growers in other states to have written estimates of netting costs ready as early as possible.
“I would definitely say to the other states to chase up your suppliers and get an estimate of costs first,” Susie said.
“Don’t wait for the guidelines to come out.
“It can take some time. Some have gone for a full comprehensive quote, but just having a written estimate of costs as early as possible is our advice.
“I’d also say that if someone had any questions, ring the relevant department early, rather than going through the application process and then getting tripped up later on.”
While each state’s guidelines are relevant to them and will be different, the process is likely to be similar to that of South Australia’s.
On that basis, growers looking to utilise the program could begin to compile the following documents and information:
- Written cost estimates from netting suppliers
- Financial statements from the past 12 months
- Information on the property including size and location
- If there are any relevant planning proposals or approvals required, to have these ready to go up-front
- Bank statements proving grower’s ability to make payment
The South Australian Government matches growers dollar for dollar up to the value of $300,000 under the program, which is available to the broader horticulture industry in the state.
Susie said that while South Australia’s cap of $300,000 (other states are more likely to be capped at around $150,000) was enough to satisfy many growers, some larger operations have maxed out the cap before continuing to invest their own money into the millions.
“It was something (investment amount) that we scoped out prior to the program so it will be interesting to see where that lands,” she said.
“It’s an incentive to drive investment, which is good for the industry.”
South Australian growers who have been through the process have indicated that there is ‘a lot of information’ needed and that the process has been ‘a bit of an eye opener’.
Full details of the rest of the country’s guidelines will be communicated by APAL as soon as they are available.