Communities across the Murray-Darling Basin get their chance from today to have their say on the design of two important community-led grants programs.

The programs are the new Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program, and Round 3 of the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said these grants were announced as part of the Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package which is all about putting communities at the heart of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“Consulting with Basin communities on the design of these programs is another demonstration of my commitment to making sure they get a say in the schemes’ development to ensure they provide the most benefit,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is consulting on the guidelines for both programs to increase accessibility to, and participation in, the available grant opportunities.

“I want to be sure they’re providing the right assistance to eligible organisations to provide the most effective project proposals that benefit their communities.”

The Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program will provide $20 million in grants for community-led, on-ground works that sustain healthier rivers and wetlands.

The extension of the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program makes an extra $34 million available to communities to diversify and strengthen local economies, both now and into the future.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the consultation period is open until January 22 next year.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in strengthening our local economy and improving river health in the Murray-Darling Basin to take a look and let us know what you think,” Mr Drum said.

“Feedback from the consultation period will be considered before the guidelines are finalised and the programs open early in the new year.

“This government is getting on with practical actions that help Basin communities and the environment so these communities can thrive, and we can deliver a healthy and sustainable river system for future generations.”

The draft guidelines for both grant programs are available for comment here.

ENDS

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