What is the Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program?
The Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program is an initiative that supports community-led, on-ground projects that improve the health and ecological condition of rivers and wetlands in the Murray–Darling Basin, whilst supporting economic development and jobs.
The Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program forms part of the Australian Government’s $269.7 million Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package, which seeks to re-engage communities in the work to restore the ecological health of the Murray–Darling Basin whilst also supporting economic development and jobs. The package was announced by the Hon Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, on 4 September 2020.
The Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program will run over 2 years from 2020–21 to 2021–22.
The objectives of the program are to support community-led, on-ground projects to improve the health and ecological condition of rivers and wetlands in the Murray–Darling Basin, whilst also supporting economic development and jobs.
The intended outcomes of the program are:
- improve health and ecological condition of rivers and wetlands in the Murray–Darling Basin that build on water recovered through the Murray–Darling Basin Plan
- improve community involvement in restoring the environmental health of the Murray–Darling Basin
- increase economic activity and employment in Basin communities as a result of grant funding.
The Australian Government has announced a total of $20 million GST exclusive over 2 years for the Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program.
- Small Grants Stream – There is $7.141 million available in funding for Round 2. Grants range between $5,000 and $100,000.
- Large Grants Stream – There is $10 million available in total funding for Round 2, with grants ranging between $100,001 and $2,000,000.
To be eligible, your grant activity must be directed to one or more of the following in the Murray–Darling Basin:
- the conservation and protection of biodiversity (diversity of native plant and animal species), including species and communities listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
- the protection of rivers or wetlands
- the protection of listed migratory species and their habitats
- the sustainable management or conservation and enhancement of water resources
- combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought on natural systems
To be eligible for the Small Grants, your projects must have at least $5,000 in eligible expenditure, and for the Large Grants your projects must have at least $100,001 in eligible expenditure.
The decision maker can choose to waive the eligibility criteria; however, they must be made aware of the risks.
To be eligible you must be one of the following entity types:
- Indigenous Corporation
- Incorporated Association
- Sole Trader
- Trustee on behalf of a Trust
- Unincorporated Association
Note: Irrigation infrastructure operators, and public and private schools, are eligible regardless of their organisational structure.
Applications from consortia are acceptable, if you have a lead applicant who is solely accountable to the Commonwealth for the delivery of grant activities and is an eligible entity as per the list above. Eligible organisations can form a consortia with ineligible organisations. The maximum
grant size remains $50,000 for applications from consortia.
Applications close 6 October 2021.
- Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program Small Grants
- Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program Large Grants
- Small Grants Round 2 Guidelines
- Large Grants Round 2 Guidelines