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Senator the Hon. Penny Wong
Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water

The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Water

Call for water-saving projects for basin communities

Joint media release
2 September 2009

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The Rudd Government is seeking proposals from local government bodies and urban water service providers in the Murray-Darling Basin for water-saving initiatives to help their communities prepare for a future with less water.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, called for proposals today during a visit to Deniliquin as part of a tour of the Southern Murray-Darling Basin with Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Dr Mike Kelly.

"We're inviting proposals from Basin communities for water-saving initiatives as part of the Rudd Government's $200 million Strengthening Basin Communities program," Senator Wong said.

"We are interested in joining with local governments and urban water providers to invest in projects that could include elements such as water recycling and reuse, stormwater capture and reuse, desalination and water-sensitive urban design."

Dr Kelly said the Government encouraged all local government bodies and urban water service providers in the Murray-Darling Basin to apply before the closing date of 6 November 2009.

"The Rudd Government is committed to securing a strong and vibrant future for the Murray-Darling Basin and its industries, farmers and communities," Dr Kelly said.

The call for projects represents the second stage of the program. Applications for the planning stage of the Strengthening Basin Communities program closed on 21 August 2009 and are currently being assessed.

The announcement confirms the commitment negotiated between the Rudd Government and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon as part of the passage of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan through the Senate earlier this year.

Two funding rounds will be held for water saving initiatives and it is anticipated the second will be conducted in the next financial year.

Funding is capped at 50 per cent of total project costs, with the minimum Australian Government contribution $250,000 (GST exclusive). While there is no maximum project size, the Australian Government contribution is capped at $10 million (GST exclusive) per project.

Guidelines are available from www.environment.gov.au/water/programs/index.html or by calling 1800 218 478.

Commonwealth of Australia