Local community called to help shape the Reconnecting River Country Program

Media release | 24 August 2021

Private landholders, First Nations people and community organisations are invited to share their local knowledge and expertise to help shape the future of the Reconnecting River Country Program.

Stakeholders are encouraged to share their experiences and discuss key parts of the program, including flow rates and potential mitigation options, with NSW Government field staff. Their feedback will help develop the program’s next phase.

Tracey MacDonald, Director, Reconnecting River Country Program said it is important that eligible stakeholders take part to ensure the program can truly meet the needs of local communities.

“We’re listening to what communities have to say,” Ms MacDonald said.

“We want to deliver benefits to them first and foremost, and how we do that will be informed by this engagement and feedback phase.

“By speaking with our staff on the ground, the local community will have the chance to work with us directly and explore the benefits and impacts of  higher flows, as well as potential mitigation options for impacted properties.

“We’ll be able to refine and fine-tune inundation mapping, to ensure we’re providing the most accurate and accessible information possible.”

Private landholders, First Nations stakeholders and the broader community who live near rivers in the following areas are invited to take part:

  • Hume to Yarrawonga (Murray River)
  • Yarrawonga to Wakool Junction (Murray River)
  • Murrumbidgee River (including Yanco Creek)

We’re looking forward to learning from the community’s expertise and knowledge, and we’ll listen to how they want to be informed at every stage,” Ms MacDonald said.

“I encourage anyone eligible to take part, to help shape the program with their voice at its centre.”

Launched earlier this month, the Reconnecting River Country Program aims to ensure water for the environment is delivered where and when it is needed in the southern connected Murray-Darling Basin, to improve the health and resilience of rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

During the program’s feedback phase, Local Land Services will consult with private landholders and owners.

Water Infrastructure NSW and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) Biodiversity, Conservation and Science teams will work with First Nations and the broader community.

For more information on how to provide feedback and on eligibility, visit:  Reconnecting River Country Program

Applications close 1 October 2021.