​Media Release

Community projects boost St George and Dirranbandi

29 March 2019

  • Coalition invests $9 million in grass-roots projects in St George and Dirranbandi
  • Helping diversify Basin economies to create jobs and build resilience

St George and Dirranbandi will receive $9 million for locally-chosen community projects. 

The 12 projects are funded from Murray Darling Basin funds for communities hit by water buybacks. 

In the agreement to save a further 70GL from being recovered, Water Minister David Littleproud also brokered a deal to create a fund for economic reconstruction of affected Basin communities. 

"The 12 projects announced today are part of that commitment and range from $5m in dog fencing to $1m to improve digital connectivity," Minister Littleproud said. 

"Other Projects include $500,000 for the Goondir Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Corporation to refurbish the RSL for the St George Community Well Being Centre and $500,000 for South West Indigenous Corporation's recording studio at the Harmony Centre in St George. 

"Both St George and Dirranbandi have done more than their fair share of heavy lifting for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. 

"It's been tough here since the 2012 buybacks. This package will open new opportunities. 

"The projects were put forward by locals who know best what's needed for their towns. 

"15 communities across the Basin will be able to access this fund. 

"There were more than 60 applications from every single eligible community. 

"We've listened to communities and this is something we're doing to help them recover. 

"Each and every project will make a positive and lasting difference in their region. 

"There are grants for small business, Landcare, Indigenous health, cultural services and for wild dog fences. 

"This will both create local jobs and improve the standard of living for everyone in the community."  

Fast Facts

  • Over $9m funding for projects in St George and Dirranbandi include up to:
    • $500,000 for Goondir Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Corporation for Health Services' refurbishment of the RSL for the St George Community Well Being Centre
    • $500,000 for South West Indigenous Corporation's recording studio at the Harmony Centre in St George to preserve and share local Indigenous language and culture.
    • $40,000 for Weribone Jack Family Descendants Aboriginal Corporation's to upgrade their campsite and cultural learning ground for cultural tourism and events.
    • $12,915 for Dirranbandi Landcare Group's "Dirranbandi Seasons" project to install interpretive signs about drought and rainfall impacts on the landscape.
    • $95,000 for Care Balonne Association  to conduct a series of digital marketing workshops to improve digital literacy for local businesses
    • Balonne Shire Council will conduct seven projects across St George and Dirranbandi:
      • Up to $5 million to build wild dog exclusion fencing
      • Up to $1 million to expand digital connectivity
      • Up to $82,500 for the Dirranbandi Rural Transaction Centre Hub and install video conferencing at the local library
      • Up to $70,000 to improve the Dirranbandi Showgrounds caravan park
      • Up to $875,000 to develop Dirranbandi thermal hot springs with construction of thermal baths
      • Up to $499,100 to conduct business coaching
      • Up to $492,000 to revitalise Dirranbandi's main street.ac
  • The Murray Darling Association project will deliver a Communities Leadership Program across all 15 communities:
    • Dirranbandi, St George and Cunnamulla in QLD
    • Collarenebri, Warren and Wakool in NSW
    • Rochester, Merbein, Red Cliffs in VIC
    • Colignan in NSW/VIC
    • Berri, Cobdogla-Barmera, Loxton, Swan Reach and Lower Lakes in SA
  • Program part of the 'Basin Plan Commitments Package' announced in May 2018.
  • The Coalition Government is committing more than $20m to 42 projects under the Sustainable Rural Water Use for Infrastructure Program to the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.
  • Sectors covered by these projects include healthcare, tourism, construction, Indigenous cultural preservation, leadership and capacity building.