Six communities in the Barker electorate will share in about $3.8 million in economic development grants to diversify economies, create jobs and build stronger communities.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, and the Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, congratulated recipients for the diversity of successful projects.

Minister Pitt said local communities were best placed to identify the support they needed to lift economic activity, attract jobs and build community resilience to overcome the negative effects water recovery has had on main streets and business turnover in recent years.

“These Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program grants are about helping rural and regional communities that are on the backfoot because of historic water recovery,” Minister Pitt said.

“This second round of grants, valued at $15 million, is even more important given the effects drought, bushfires, and now COVID are having on our communities.

Mr Pasin said the successful projects ranged from those designed to lift spirits of communities through to those that would attract more tourists, build more businesses and create more jobs.

“Diversification is more than a buzz word when you look through the projects receiving funding in our region; they’re about capitalising on the Murray and building tourism opportunities, they’re about building Indigenous agribusiness and they’re about reinvigorating our main streets,” Mr Pasin said.

“It just shows the breadth of good ideas our communities have to secure prosperous futures for themselves.

“Our government is getting behind those ideas with these grants and I congratulate all the successful applicants for generating these innovative and practical projects that will have an enduring positive impact for our communities.”

To find out more and for a full list of projects funded in round 2 of the Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program visit the website.


Successful projects in Barker:


Mid Murray Council

$450,000 Blanchetown Revitalisation Project: To revitalise Blanchetown, making the town more appealing to visitors, creating jobs during the delivery phase.
Blanchetown, Mannum, Morgan, Murray Bridge, Tailem Bend, Waikerie

Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland incorporated

$250,000 Murray River Agritourism and Food Cluster – Stages 2 and 3: To support emerging food and agritourism businesses through an expansion of the Murray River Agritourism and Food Cluster project.

Mid Murray Council

$447,818 Mannum Murray River and Heritage Tourism Project: To introduce new features to the Mannum Dock Museum and to develop a deep mooring facility so river cruises can continue when water levels are low, creating ongoing jobs.
Mannum, Morgan, Murray Bridge

Outback Academy Australia Limited*

$416,250 Follow the Flowers: Aboriginal Cooperative Business for the Murray Corridor: To establish a cooperative business for honey, wildflowers, botanicals and food, linked to tourism, and creating jobs during the delivery phase with lasting tourism opportunities.

Mid Murray Council

$446,331 Morgan Murray River Tourism Development

A river tourism project that will restore and repurpose the “PS Canally” as a tourist attraction, creating ongoing jobs.

Murray Bridge

Rural City of Murray Bridge

$450,000 Murray Bridge Riverfront Development – Sturt Reserve: To improve the link between Murray Bridge and its riverfront to better take advantage of river tourism.
Tailem Bend

Coorong District Council

$448,857 Wellington East Parks Activation Project

To build a park on the shore at Wellington as a community space to attract visitors, creating jobs during the delivery phase.


District Council of Loxton Waikerie

$450,000 Waikerie Riverfront Revitalisation Project: To revitalise the riverfront in Waikerie to provide community space and to attract visitors.

District Council of Loxton Waikerie

$450,000 Waikerie Central Business District (CBD) Revitalisation: To revitalise the central business district of Waikerie to create safe pedestrian and cycle routes and to connect better with river tourism.
TOTAL 3,809,256  


* The community areas for this program are uniquely defined and some projects span multiple communities and electorates. The Outback Academy Australia Limited project also spans across the electorates of Farrer (New South Wales), Mallee (Victoria) and Nicholls (Victoria). The funding for this project has also been split between communities and the relevant portions included in this electorate table.