Rescuing our Waterways

To improve accessibility to the state's waterways, the NSW Government has developed the Rescuing our Waterways program. The program grants funding to councils on a dollar-for-dollar basis to help deliver better access to local waterways for recreational and commercial waterway boaters and other users. This creates flow-on benefits for tourism and local economies.

Who can apply?

Coastal councils can apply and are required to make a financial contribution of at least 50% of project costs and be responsible for developing and managing their projects.

What will be funded?

Dredging projects that may be subsidised under this program include:

  • Dredging strategies and/or their supporting studies (e.g. sediment hydrodynamics)
  • Navigation for a range of vessels (recreational, tourism and commercial)
  • Access to public waterway infrastructures such as boat ramps and wharves
  • Pre-dredge activities for projects which are eligible and likely to proceed to dredging. for vessel navigation.

How much is available?

The program will run over four years (2017/18–2020/21) with up to $6 million in funding available. Funding of up to $1.5 million is available for projects on an annual basis with financing of up to 50% of a project’s costs usually offered for successful grant applicants.


Applications for 2019/20 Rescuing our Waterways program are now closed and are currently under consideration by the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) – Crown Lands.

The following documents are provided to assist with lodging an application:

More information

For more information or for assistance in preparing an application, please contact the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment – Crown Lands on 1300 886 235 or and ask for Dave Hopper, A/Principal Environmental Officer.