Filling the water gap

By Country News

A $20million fund has been established to assist communities affected by water recovery under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The fund, which is available to 15 communities over four years, is aimed at helping to create sustainable long-term jobs in those communities.

Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud said grant funding would be available to not-for-profit organisations, including local government, co-operatives, incorporated associations and indigenous corporations where water recovery had ‘‘hit hard’’.

‘‘We’ve got to be honest about this — water recovery has hurt communities,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

‘‘The drought has made it far worse. This investment will help boost 15 communities where water recovery has hit hard.

‘‘This isn’t a silver bullet. It’s something we’re doing to try to help.

‘‘Everybody has had to compromise to get the plan through and the thing all communities needed at the end was certainty,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

‘‘These projects will be put forward by local communities.

‘‘This lets them choose what’s best for them to create jobs, diversify their economies and build resilience.’’

Eligible communities include Wakool in NSW and Rochester in Victoria.

Organisations that do not fall into one of the eligible organisation categories will be able to partner with eligible organisations to put forward project proposals.

■For more information on the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program, visit: agriculture.gov.au/edpgrants