NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has welcomed an announcement today by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments that $14.1 million of funding is now available to rural and regional communities that were most impacted by the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Mr Marshall is encouraging Moree district businesses and not-for-profit organisations in particular, as well as Moree Plains Shire Council, to apply for funding to create more jobs, strengthen business confidence and diversify the local economy.
In May this year the MP publicly expressed his dismay when the northern region of the Murray-Darling Basin failed to attract a single dollar of the $18 million available in the first round of Regional Economic Diversification Program. Mr Marshall said he was very confident that this this time the result would be very different.
“The funding program was established to offset the impacts of water buybacks through the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) and our region has been impacted more than most other parts of the basin,” Mr Marshall said.
“Following the disappointing round one outcome and subsequent meetings with the Regional Development Minister John Barilaro I am very confident funds will be distributed to many worthwhile projects in the northern basin in this round to increase economic diversification and adjust to the new water constrained environment.
Mr Marshall said the loss to on-farm activity from the MDBP is estimated to be about $20 million, and somewhere in the order of between $40 and $60 million of regional activity in towns like Goondiwindi and Moree.
“Four Moree projects submitted for funding in Round 1 were a mixture of local government and private enterprise programs which were worthy of consideration,” Mr Marshall said.
“In this round more than $14 million will be available across two funding streams to projects with the potential to drive significant job outcomes or support small businesses, small capability building projects and economic development projects that support economic diversification.
“As part of the $14.1 million allocation, the Energise Enterprise fund is a $4.1 million investment in small businesses and capability building projects, with $25,000 one off grants or $40,000 matched grants available for projects that encourage businesses to develop skills or focus on small community economic development projects.
“This is a new funding pathway encouraging businesses to work with local councils and not-for-profits to fund projects to diversify, strengthen and build resilience in their local economies.”