Joint media release: Fencing Northern Riverbank Program a major win for NSW Murray-Darling Basin communities and the environment

22 January 2021

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, The Hon Keith Pitt MP
New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing, The Hon Melinda Pavey MP


NSW Murray-Darling Basin communities and the environment are set to benefit from $7.5 million in funding from the Australian Government until 2023 that aims to support the full rollout of the Fencing Northern Riverbank Program in New South Wales. 

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pit said the Fencing Northern Riverbank Program will invest in projects that provide practical support for landholders to protect valuable ecological sites and improve native fish habitat across the northern basin. 

“The Fencing Northern Riverbank Program is putting local communities at the heart of investments designed to benefit them while improving environmental outcomes along the river,” he said. 

“It is tremendous to be able to deliver funding which empowers local landholders to draw on local solutions that benefit their livelihoods and the environment,” Minister Pitt said. 

“The main on-ground activity supported under the program in NSW is the construction of 500 kilometres of riparian riverbank fencing to control livestock access to environmentally sensitive waterways, reducing degradation of these important sites. 

“Other activities eligible under the program include woody weed control, revegetation, river re-snagging for fish habitat and minor erosion control works that protect native fish and contribute to a healthier river system.

New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing, the Hon Melinda Pavey MP, welcomed the Commonwealth’s funding commitment for the NSW Northern Basin region. 

“The Fencing Northern Riverbank Program promotes better environmental outcomes while directly benefitting local communities,” Minister Pavey said.

“It demonstrates that governments at all levels work best when they first listen, then work together, to respond to the needs of local communities.”

Local Land Services (LLS), led by the LLS Western Region will deliver the program with dedicated support officers available to assist applicants to meet the program’s guidelines. 

“I’ve asked my Department to ensure that landholders are consulted and supported at every step of the process, should they choose to apply for funding. 

“This collaboration will ensure the benefits of the program remain mutually beneficial to landholders and achieve the clear outcomes we need for the environment,” Minister Pavey said.

The Fencing Northern Riverbank Program is part of a $15 million investment the Australian Government has committed to New South Wales and Queensland to improve water quality, sustain native fish populations and to keep farm animals safe in the Northern Basin.