Healthy Rivers Program investing in better Basin communities and environments

29 July 2021

The Australian Government has announced the successful applicants under the first round of the $20 million Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said that Basin communities and farmers are the big winners of this round.

“I am pleased to award 73 grants to fund practical, on-ground projects led by Basin communities to improve the health of rivers and wetlands across the Basin,” Minister Pitt said.

“These grants will deliver over $3 million to communities from Goondiwindi to Strathalbyn. Those who are successful will buy local, providing much needed spending in rural communities.

“It’s exciting to see farmers getting on with the job of improving their local environment by installing grazing exclusion fences along riverbanks and conducting pest species control. 

“The grants will also fund riverbank and wetland revegetation and erosion control projects to improve water quality, among others. 

“For example, grants awarded to OzFish will allow them to support native fish populations in the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Darling, building on our previous investment and providing a boost to local anglers.

“Not only are these grants great for the environment, they will also provide real jobs in Basin communities recovering from drought and COVID–19. A wide variety of community groups will be involved, including schools, Scouts, Landcare groups, people living with disabilities and First Nations.

“The Healthy Rivers Program forms a key part of the Coalition Government’s Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package, which is putting communities at the heart of the Basin Plan.

“This is just the first round of grants awarded under this program. Communities will again be able to apply for the remaining funding later this year.”

For more information on the successful projects, visit the department’s website
https://www.agriculture.gov.au/water/mdb/programs/basin-wide/healthy-rivers-program

Fast Facts

  • 73 Healthy Rivers grants are being funded under the first small grants round of the Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program. 
  • Grant activities include revegetation, constructing riverbank fencing, and invasive species control.
  • The first round is funding $3.08 million of small grants. Grants were available for projects valued between $5,000 and $50,000 (GST exclusive).
  • Two further rounds – consisting of a small grants round and a large grants round – will open later this year.