05 Jul 2021

Murray-Darling Basin communities in the New England Electorate are set to benefit from a $300,000 grant under the third round of the Coalition Government’s Economic Development Program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce joined with the Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt to announce the grant to Gwydir Shire Council.

Mr Joyce, who is also Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said the Economic Development Program grants help strengthen and diversify the economies of local communities impacted by aspects of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

“The $300,000 grant will fund Stage 2 of the Big River Dreaming Project, currently being undertaken by the Gwydir Shire Council.

“The project was selected to receive funding under Round 3 and will help communities by using local suppliers and resources, as well as through local knowledge, to drive the best outcomes for our region,” Mr Joyce said.

Minister Pitt said the Big River Dreaming Project was part of ongoing announcements regarding round 3 of the program.

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

“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.

“The approved projects will create new jobs as they are delivered, as well as enduring employment opportunities, increase the capacity of communities to diversify and strengthen their local economies, to help them manage their current and future economic challenges and changes,” Mr Pitt said.

“This 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.”

Mr Joyce said, “Across the Murray-Darling Basin, people have been dealing with the biggest water reform in Australia’s history along with drought, demographic change and commodity price change.

“This funding recognises the pressures many people in the Basin’s rural and regional communities are under, and seeks to create new economic activity and job opportunities for impacted communities.

“Close to $39 million of funding has already been approved under Rounds 1 and 2 of the program for a wide range of activities throughout Murray-Darling Basin communities,” Mr Joyce concluded.

*Details on New England’s project:

  • Gwydir Shire Council - Big River Dreaming - Stage 2 - $300,000

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