Community benefits flow from reimagining our water future

22 October 2020

Australian communities are set to benefit from the Morrison-McCormack Government’s continued investment decisions that aim to secure a sustainable water management system across the nation. 

“This year, Water Week’s theme is encouraging us all to ‘reimagine our water future’ and that is just what this government is doing,” Minister Pitt said.

“We are working with states to renew the National Water Initiative that demonstrates a shared commitment to increase the efficiency of Australia's water use, leading to greater certainty for investment and productivity, for rural and urban communities, for First Nations and for the environment across Australia.

“This focus on continuing to improve how we manage this finite and precious resource is at the core of our government’s approach to our role in managing the Lake Eyre Basin, the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray–Darling Basin.

“Our recent announcement of the Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package is a demonstration of that.

“This includes funding to establish four new Indigenous River Ranger Groups to care for country across the Basin.

“We’re putting an end to water buybacks, shifting our water recovery focus to off-farm water efficiency programs and investing in communities. 

“There is a $270 million package that is putting communities back at the heart of the Murray-Darling and giving them a say in deciding their own futures.

“I’ve asked my department to prioritise making two grant programs available to communities.

“The $20 million Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers guidelines will be released for public consultation in the coming weeks so we can test them and provide assurance that they will deliver the local, as well as Basin benefits, we want to see.

“I have asked that those grants be open for applications early in the New Year – and that the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program round three grant applications be invited before the end of this year.

“My focus is on getting on with the job of delivering practical water policy and programs to help Australia’s communities and the environment into the future.”