Photo Caption (L-R): Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor Katrina Humphries and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton. With a $515,000 grant under the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program, Moree Plains Shire Council will develop a business incubator and co-working space.
The Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package means New South Wales communities will share in an overhaul of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan that will see over $230 million invested in creating jobs, economic activity and healthy rivers in regional areas.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the 11 new initiatives in the Package were about keeping the Basin Plan on track while ruling out water buybacks.
“These initiatives are based around three key themes – investing in communities, improving river health and building trust and transparency between governments and communities,” Mr Coulton said.
“A total of $34 million is being allocated by Government across those communities hit hard by water recovery to help increase economic activity, diversify economies and create jobs through the extended Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.
“Already we’ve seen numerous grants allocated across my electorate under the Program, including $3.5 million for Warren Shire Council, for projects in Warren, Nevertire and Collie.
“A further $515,000 went to Moree Plains Shire Council to develop a business incubator and co-working space. Many other recipients have received grants right around the electorate including at Narromine, Narrabri, Wee Waa, Walgett, Collarenebri, Brewarrina, Bourke and Menindee.”
Mr Coulton said under the new Package, $20 million has been committed to a Healthy Rivers Program to fund community-driven proposals to improve the health of local rivers and wetlands, with four new Indigenous river ranger teams also being engaged across the Basin.
“The change the Package delivers when it comes to compliance is a win for NSW, with a new statutory compliance role being established separate from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority,” he said.
“Importantly, this Package includes a new approach to the delivery of Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustment projects and the 450 GL to help Basin governments and communities achieve Basin Plan requirements.
“The Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package is a way for all of us to move forward and get the most we can from the Plan.”
A full list of initiatives in the Murray–Darling Community Investment Package is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/water/mdb/water-investment-package