The popular Healthy Rivers grants program is now fully expended having successfully delivered the last of 160 grants to community groups across the Murray-Darling Basin.
Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program has invested $20 million to empower communities across the Basin to take practical action to improve their stretch of the river.
“The last tranche of projects is worth a combined $6 million and supports individuals and groups to protect and promote native species by improving habitats – whether that’s making farm dams more attractive to native birds or re-snagging large stretches of river,” Minister Pitt said.
“In total Healthy Rivers is collectively funding activities to plant about 300,000 native plants, install 230 kilometres of fencing to protect 2000 hectares of riverbanks and undertake weed control on about 30,000 hectares.
“All these activities contribute to good river health outcomes – although they don’t directly contribute to increasing flows.
“Community groups, from Charleville in Queensland to Hindmarsh Island at the mouth of the Murray in South Australia, have received grants over the life of the program and are spending those funds locally.
“These grants put money into local businesses, creating jobs and strengthening recreational amenities and tourism offerings.
“This last tranche of grants range in scale from $1.98 million for Murray Irrigation – to improve connectivity of 2 creeks with the Murray River at Wakool, boosting water flow and river connectivity by upgrading 9 creek crossings and installing 8 fish friendly culverts- through to the Ginninderra Catchment Group’s $35,000 to improve wildlife habitat at dams on farms in the region to support threatened species including the Superb Parrot and the Small Purple Pea.
“These sort of community-driven activities have a real impact on river health – and just as importantly – a real impact on regional economies.
“The Healthy Rivers Program forms a key part of the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package, which is putting communities back at the heart of the Basin Plan.”