Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Investment in Murray-Darling Basin communities

Media release
10 November 2010

The Gillard Government is investing more than $5 million in Murray Darling Basin communities through the Strengthening Basin Communities program.

This investment will help local governments undertake projects to assess the impacts of less water on local areas, and undertake community-wide planning for the future.

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Tony Burke today announced the 26 successful applicants under the second round of the Planning component of the Strengthening Basin Communities program.

"I want to to be able to create a Murray-Darling Basin Plan that restores the river to health, supports strong regional communities and ensures the importance of food production.

"Communities are the backbone of the Murray-Darling Basin, they support farmers and irrigators while also encouraging other industries such as tourism.

"We need to ensure that the final Murray Darling Basin Plan supports strong regional communities.

"This program will help us deliver just that, by supporting local governments to prepare for a future with less water."

The $200 million Strengthening Basin Communities program was announced in 2009 and has already provided $39 million in grants to local government planning projects and water saving initiatives.

Local government bodies were eligible to apply for the second round of the Planning component funding either as an individual local government, a consortium of local governments or an established regional organisation of councils.

Successful applicants will receive grants to assess the impacts of reduced water availability and to review existing plans or develop new plans to take account of these impacts.

Some of the plans that will be updated or developed by the successful applicants include community resilience plans, stormwater management plans, alternate water supply plans and economic development strategies.

A list of successful applicants will be available on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website www.environment.gov.au/water.