Northern basin environmental projects boost jobs in NSW and Queensland

25 March 2021

The Coalition Government has approved 10 environmental projects in New South Wales and Queensland for funding through the Northern Basin Toolkit that will create jobs in Basin communities and improve the health of northern rivers.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said funding is being made available immediately.

“Around $90 million of the $180 million Toolkit package will support New South Wales and Queensland to fast-track the delivery of four projects to ensure communities see the benefits sooner,” Minister Pitt said.

“It is critical that we accelerate the delivery of Toolkit projects and this announcement clears the way for contracts to be negotiated so that projects so that can occur.

“Delivery of the projects should commence this year and provide much-needed economic stimulus to regional communities and improve environmental outcomes in the northern Basin,” Minister Pitt said.

“Four of the 10 projects are designed to provide benefits to local and indigenous communities through economic activity and job creation.

“These include enhancing delivery of environmental flows to significant wetlands – such as the Macquarie Marshes – and improving the health of native fish by constructing fishways along the Barwon-Darling and Border River to allow them to access critical habitat along the river system.

“This is about getting on with delivering the Coalition Government’s $180 million Toolkit measures to 2024 in partnership with the New South Wales and Queensland governments.

“I took advice from an independent scientific panel that assessed a range of possible Toolkit projects to determine which would have the best ecological benefits,” Minister Pitt said.

The Northern Basin Toolkit is a suite of environmental works and measures, each with a number of targeted projects and activities.

The Toolkit is designed to provide genuine complementary measures to improve the health of northern rivers. This supports keeping an additional 70 GL of water in productive use under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan in New South Wales and Queensland. 

“The Toolkit measures, along with other activities in the northern Basin, will create opportunities for local and Indigenous communities, improve river management across the northern Basin and protect water for the environment,” Minister Pitt said.

For more information on the 10 approved Northern Basin Toolkit projects, visit the Northern Basin Toolkit projects toolkit page on the DAWE website or the Northern Basin Projects page on MDBA’s website.