Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers

Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers

What is the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers?

The Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers is a grant opportunity to establish up to four new Indigenous ranger groups to work on waterway health projects that support environmental and cultural outcomes across the Basin.

 

Background

The Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers grant opportunity was first announced by the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, through the Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package, on 4 September 2020. On 8 September 2020, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, issued a joint release with Minister Pitt announcing the new Grant Opportunity.

Through the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers Program, the Australian Government recognises Indigenous Australians’ connection to country and the diversity of environmental and cultural practices across the Basin. The Government is providing Indigenous organisations an opportunity to use their knowledge and connection to country to contribute to managing and restoring waterway health in the Basin. The river ranger groups will be funded for one year commencing 1 July 2021. The river ranger groups will between them employ around 20 full-time equivalent Indigenous rangers as well as a number of ranger coordinators.

The process is open and competitive, which means your application will be considered on its merits and will be compared to other applications and subject to the availability of funding.

 

Objectives

The objectives of the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers grant opportunity are to enable Indigenous Australians, organisations and communities to:

  • use their connection to country to contribute to managing and restoring waterway health across the breadth of the Murray–Darling Basin, while supporting environmental and cultural outcomes.
  • develop or improve leadership, employment and economic opportunities for Indigenous people in the water and land management sectors and related fields.

 

Funding

A total of $3.1 million is available under the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers grant opportunity, from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, to address the objectives and outcomes as set out in Section 2 of the guidelines.

There is no maximum grant amount, however, the total of all grants cannot exceed the amount of available funds.

 

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your grant activity must:

  • employ a core group of on-ground staff on a full-time, part-time or casual basis to undertake or support activities to deliver Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers grant opportunity objectives and outcomes.
    • It is a requirement that all employees through the Grant Opportunity are Indigenous. This does not apply to ranger coordinator roles that may be filled by a non-Indigenous person.
    • deliver activities that contribute to managing and restoring waterway health in the Murray–Darling Basin, while supporting environmental and cultural outcomes.

Given the changing and variable impacts of COVID-19 across Australia, activities must be delivered in alignment with relevant government and health advice to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19, particularly with respect to protecting elders and those with chronic health issues.

Before commencing an activity, it is your responsibility to develop a COVID-19 Risk Management Plan. The Risk Management Plan should include any potential risks associated with the delivery of an activity, and identify the strategies that you will put in place to minimise those risks. Upon request, you may be required to provide evidence to the NIAA that you have a COVID-19 Risk Management Plan in place.

You can only spend grant funds for agreed and/or eligible grant activities as defined in your grant agreement, unless we otherwise agree in writing to an alternative use.

Eligible expenditure items include, but are not limited to:

  • employment expenses
  • administration and audit expenses
  • consultation and planning expenses
  • operational expenses
  • training expenses
  • transport and fuel expenses
  • asset purchases
  • office and equipment storage

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible to apply for grant funding under the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers grant opportunity you must:

  • demonstrate that you are an Indigenous organisation. (Please refer to Section 18 for the definition of ‘Indigenous organisation’.); AND
  • demonstrate ownership, or access to, country (lands and/or waterways) within the Murray–Darling Basin to be managed through the Murray–Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers grant opportunity. (Please refer to map of the Murray-Darling Basin at Appendix 2 of the guidelines.); AND
  • demonstrate the necessary governance structures, organisational capabilities and environmental management experience to deliver the Program outcomes; OR
  • demonstrate partnership(s) with another organisation(s) that has(ve) the appropriate ownership or access rights to the land and/or waterways to be managed. Partner organisations may also provide assistance, advice or capacity building for other capabilities such as governance and water management (see Section 7.5); AND
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) (exemptions may apply in special cases);
  • where relevant, be registered for the purposes of GST;
  • if an individual, be a permanent resident of Australia; and
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution; AND
  • be one of the following entity types:
    • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act);
    • a company incorporated in Australia under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act);
    • an Incorporated Association (incorporated under state/territory legislation, commonly have ‘Association’ or ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Inc’ in their legal name);
    • an Incorporated Cooperative (also incorporated under state/territory legislation, commonly have ’Cooperative’ in their legal name);
    • an organisation established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or state/territory legislation including public benevolent institutions, churches and universities;
    • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust4 (please refer to Section 7.6);
    • a partnership (please refer to Section 7.5);
    • a joint (consortia) application with a lead organisation that satisfies the entity type (please refer to Section 7.5); or
    • an individual Indigenous person with an ABN.

In addition you must:

  • have rectified any issues of previous non-compliance with existing Commonwealth agreements to the satisfaction of the Commonwealth, or be in the process of rectifying any issues of non-compliance with existing Commonwealth agreements to the satisfaction of the Commonwealth; and
  • be financially viable. The application form has questions about financial viability. The Agency may undertake its own enquiries in relation to the applicant’s financial viability.

 

Timing

Applications close 18 May 2021.

 

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