Strengthening the Murray-Darling Basin economy

Staff working in RivCott cotton ginThe 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 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 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.

Energise Enterprise Fund

The Murray Darling Basin Energise Enterprise Fund aim was to deliver economic development projects and diversification initiatives to broaden and support the economic base of regional communities in the Murray Darling Basin. $2.4 million was allocated to councils and non-for-profit organisations funding 101 projects across the regional communities in the Murray Darling Basin. All projects are expected to be completed by June 2017.

The Energise Enterprise Fund closed on 21 July 2016.

Read about 41 successfully funded Energise Enterprise Fund projects from Round 1 and 2.

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.