Strengthening the Murray-Darling Basin economy

Jeremy AounThe Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program is a $32.5 million allocation of funding from the Australian Government to assist economic development projects that support the economic base of New South Wales regional communities that are most likely to be affected by the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The NSW Government opened an initial round of funding in August 2014 and has already allocated $18.4 million to 22 NSW projects, from a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, aquaculture, cheese-making and grain processing. Many of these projects are already delivering outcomes that will help diversify economies and create new jobs in the Murray Darling Basin.

A second round of funding was announced on Wednesday 11 November 2015. Two streams of funding were made available to eligible applicants for projects in the Murray-Darling Basin (within NSW) through the Energise Enterprise Fund ($4.1 million) and the Regional Business Investment Fund ($10 million).

The Regional Business Investment Fund closed on 1 March 2016

Details of the two available funding streams are set out in the table below.

Funding streams - Round 2

Details of the two available funding streams are set out in the table below.

For more information, view the Funding Guidelines - Round 2.

Funding program Regional Business
Investment Fund
Energise Enterprise

Who is eligible

  • Businesses
  • Local government
  • NSW Government agencies
  • Not-for-profits
  • Other organisations
  • NSW local councils
  • NSW not-for-profits
Application closing dates

Applications have closed for RBIF

Assessment Round Three - Tuesday 21 June 2pm AEDT
*Applications will remain open until either until the funding allocation has been exhausted or 30 September 2016

Apply now

Applications have closed for RBIF

Apply online for the Energise Enterprise Fund

Total program funding

$10 million

$4.1 million

Description of program

Grants for business investment projects that result in the creation of new jobs.
Types of projects include:

  • business expansion
  • business establishment
  • infrastructure projects

Grants for the delivery of economic development and diversification projects.
Types of projects include:

  • small economic development projects which support small business initiatives
  • skills capability building projects
  • economic development studies with clearly actionable and supported outcomes

Administered by

NSW Department of Industry

Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, within the NSW Department of Industry



Albury 02 6051 7722
Dubbo 02 6883 3100
Orange 02 6360 8400
Tamworth 02 6766 1360
Wagga Wagga 02 6933 7100


1300 650 058

Frequently asked questionsAbout the Regional Business Investment Fund - FAQAbout the Energise Enterprise Fund - FAQ

The NSW Department of Industry will endeavour to advise applicants the outcomes of assessment under the Energise Enterprise Fund at the earliest opportunity. The outcomes of assessment for applications submitted in the first assessment round (on or before 2pm AEDT Tuesday 16 February 2016) are expected to be advised in late April/early May 2016. Please note this is an indicative time frame only.

Outcomes of future assessment rounds will be announced approximately 8-12 weeks after the relevant assessment round closing date. Please note this is an indicative time frame only.

The NSW Department of Industry will endeavour to update this message with the most up-to-date information

More information

For more information, please read the fact sheet and the following documents:

Watch our videos from the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program Workshop:

If you experience any difficulty downloading the videos please call 1300 650 058.

Other relevant programs

Irrigators in the NSW Border Rivers, Lower Namoi and Barwon Darling catchments may also be eligible for funding and assistance under the NSW Department of Primary Industries' NSW Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation program.