Joint media release: Economic development grants put communities and jobs at the heart of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan

1 March 2021

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, The Hon Keith Pitt MP
Minister for the Environment, The Hon Sussan Ley MP
Senator for New South Wales, Senator Perin Davey


Communities throughout the Murray-Darling Basin can apply for a share of $34 million in grants to stimulate job growth and boost economic development under the third round of the Economic Development Program (EDP).

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the third round of the EDP, which opens from this Wednesday (March 3), is about putting people, jobs and communities at the heart of the Basin Plan.

“An expansion of the Economic Development Program was a central commitment in the Communities Investment Package I announced in September 2020,” Minister Pitt said.

“Our government has allocated $34 million towards the largest round of the EDP to date, offering grants of between $50,000 and $1 million to fund projects in 38 eligible community areas.”

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the program recognises that local communities know how best to tackle the challenges they face, and what kinds of economic activity will best support people in their region.

“After working our way through the recent drought and then the challenges caused by COVID, I sense a new confidence starting to grow in Farrer and look forward to seeing a range of new and exciting initiatives to be put on the table,” Ms Ley said.

“I will be work closely with local communities and stakeholder groups over the coming months to ensure anyone interested has the opportunity and support they need to apply for funding under this program.”

New South Wales Senator Perin Davey said previous rounds of the program have already delivered real benefits.

 “Close to $39 million of funding has already been delivered under Rounds 1 and 2 of the program for a huge range of activities - from thermal hot springs upgrades to business mentoring, ecotourism trails, agritourism projects and aerodrome developments.”

“I encourage all eligible Basin communities across New South Wales to check the guidelines for Round 3 and submit an application if they can.”

EDP Round 3 grant applications open from March 3 and will close on 12 April 2021. 

From Wednesday you can visit the GrantConnect or Community Grants Hub websites to find out if your community is eligible or for information on how to apply.