$28 million boost to help Basin communities

20 July 2021

Communities across the Murray–Darling Basin have secured funding to diversify and strengthen their local economies through the Coalition Government’s Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program Round 3.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the funding would enable 51 projects, creating new jobs and generating greater economic activity in communities across the Basin.

“We are providing opportunities for Basin communities affected by the Murray–Darling Basin Plan to be at the heart of decisions on how to stimulate their economies,” Minister Pitt said.

“This tranche of approved projects will create new jobs as they are delivered as well as enduring employment opportunities.

“They’ll also increase the capacity of communities to diversify and strengthen their local economies and they’ll help them manage current and future economic challenges.

“The program recognises that communities know how best to tackle the challenges they face and what kinds of economic activity would support people in their own areas, and I look forward to announcing further round 3 projects in the coming weeks.”

The grant funding will be distributed to the following local government areas: 

Queensland: Balonne, Paroo
New South Wales: Balranald, Berrigan, Bland, Bourke, Brewarrina, Carrathool, Central Darling, Edward River, Federation, Griffith, Gwydir, Hay, Leeton, Moree Plains, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Narrabri, Narromine, Walgett, Warren, Wentworth
Victoria: Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Shepparton, Mildura
South Australia: Alexandrina, Berri Barmera, Coorong, Loxton Waikerie, Mid Murray, Murray Bridge, Renmark Paringa

“Across the Basin, people have been dealing with the biggest water reform in Australia’s history along with drought, demographic change and commodity price change,” Minister Pitt said.

“The projects we have chosen are diverse, covering sectors such as hospitality, destination and activity tourism, town revitalisation, capacity building and leadership, and Indigenous cultural sharing.

“It was great to see firsthand and inspect last week some of these projects in Northern New South Wales that will have a big impact on their communities. 

“This is about putting communities back at the heart of the Basin Plan. The plan was always designed to deliver for communities, industries and the environment. 

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

“I will announce further successful projects to create new jobs in Murray-Darling Basin communities as these are approved and finalised,” Minister Pitt said.

* List of approved projects:
- Alexandrina Council - Telling Old Stories, New Ways - $980,000
- Balonne Shire Council - St George River Foreshore - $1,000,000
- Barmera Golf Club Incorporated - Barmera Golf Club Amenities Upgrade - $104,620
- Barooga Sports Club – 5km Bullanginya Lagoon Arts Walk – $250,000
- Bland Shire Council - West Wyalong and Wyalong Connected Walking Trails - $500,000
- Bourke Shire Council - Back O Bourke Exhibition Centre Upgrade - $974,215
- Berri War Memorial Community Centre Inc - Berri Riverside Holiday Park - Riverside Apartments Development - $1,000,000
- Blanchetown Kart Club - Outgrid Shelter, tanks and amenity - $60,000
- Brewarrina Shire Council - Brewarrina Aboriginal Fishtraps Lookout & River Walk - $920,000
- Care Balonne Association Inc. - Women's Leadership and Business Collaboration - $100,000
- Central Darling Shire Council - Victory Caravan Park Amenity Block Upgrade - $489,665
- Committee for Greater Shepparton Inc. - Community Connector Program Pilot - $300,000
- Coorong District Council - Parklets in Coorong District Town Centres - $158,812
- Cunnamulla & District Show Society Inc - Cunnamulla Showgrounds Electrical Upgrade - $175,770
- District Council of Loxton Waikerie - Loxton Retirement Village Development Project - $1,000,000
- District Council of Loxton Waikerie - Loxton River Tourism Project - $382,100
- Edward River Council – Deniliquin’s Seniors’ Living Precinct – Stage 1 = $1,000,000
- Destination Riverina Murray – Digital skills development for regional tourism businesses – $75,238
- Finley Regional Care – New on site Medical Facility – $1,000,000
- Gannawarra Shire Council - Cohuna Linked Waterfront Destination - $200,000
- Gargarro Botanic Garden Ltd. – The Gargarro Community Hub & Café - $813,925
- Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association Incorporated - River Murray Lower Lakes Visitor Trails - Stage 2 - $173,330
- Goondir Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Corporation for Health Services - St George Community Wellbeing Centre Project - Stage 2 - $908,601
- Gwydir Shire Council - Big River Dreaming - Stage 2 - $300,000
- Hay Shire Council – Material Recovery (Recycling) Facility – $1,350,000
- Leeton Shire Council – Roxy Theatre community hub – $999,999
- Mid Murray Council - Murray Coorong Trail - Strategic Planning and Design Development - $410,000
- Mildura Rural City Council - Mildura Riverfront Precinct – Stage 2 - $1,000,000
- Moree Plains Shire Council - Mungindi Business Revitalisation - $450,000
- Narrabri Shire Council - Business Improvement Program - $300,000
- Narromine Shire Council - Revitalisation and Activation Project - $600,000
- Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation - Nursery Irrigation Enhancement for Fertigation via Aquaponics - $250,000
- Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation - Maximising Capacity for Goolwa Cockle Harvesting - $234,883
- Ozfish Unlimited Limited - River Repair Bus - $250,000
- Paroo Shire Council - Cunnamulla Pontoon, Jetty and Warrego Boat Cruises Project - $943,474
- Riverland Field Days Incorporated - Riverland Events Centre Shower Block - $88,000
- Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. - Sport, Play & Culture in Rochester - $990,000
- Rotary Club of Waikerie Incorporated - Waikerie Clifftop Walk Upgrade Project - $356,500
- Rural and Remote Medical Services Limited - Collarenebri Community Health Hub - $945,000
- Rural City of Murray Bridge - Sturt Reserve Mobilong Wharf Shelter Project - $450,000
- Thallon Progress Association Inc - Opportunities from Adversity - $447,780
- The Renmark Hotel Incorporated - Renmark Hotel Redevelopment and Refurbishment - $1,000,000
- Tocumwal Pre-School Kindergarten – new purpose-built Child Care Centre – $1,000,000
- Walgett Shire Council - Collarenebri Bore Bath - $920,124
- Warren Shire Council - Carter Oval Sports Lighting Project - $500,000
- Warren Shire Council - Monkeygar Creek Macquarie Marshes Bird Viewing Project - $500,000
- Warren Shire Council - Warren Showground Racecourse Improvement Program - $250,000
- Warren Shire Council - Water Reservoirs and Grain Silos Murals - $250,000
- Wee Waa Community Complex Inc - Wee Waa Medical Professional Housing - $304,000
- Wentworth Shire Council – Community Space and Convention Centre – $713,339
- West Darling Arts Inc - Menindee Film Hub - $192,357