Communities throughout the Murray-Darling Basin can now apply for a share of $34 million in grants to stimulate job growth and boost economic development under the third round of the Economic Development Program (EDP).

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the third round of the EDP, which opens from this Wednesday (March 3), is about putting people, jobs and communities at the heart of the Basin Plan.

“An expansion of the Economic Development Program was a central commitment in the Communities Investment Package I announced in September 2020,” Minister Pitt said.

“Our government has allocated $34 million towards the largest round of the EDP to date, offering grants of between $50,000 and $1 million to fund projects in 38 eligible community areas.”

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the program will allow Basin communities in the Murraylands and Riverland regions determine what best works for them.

“This program recognises that communities know how best to tackle the challenges they face, and what kinds of economic activity would support people in their own communities,” Mr Pasin said.

“In the previous round of the program, there were nine successful projects across Barker’s Murray Darling Basin Communities who shared $3.8 million to diversify economies, create jobs and build stronger communities.” Mr Pasin said.

“I will be working closely with local communities and stakeholder groups over the coming months to ensure anyone interested has the opportunity and support they need to apply for funding under this program.” Mr Pasin said.

“I encourage all eligible Basin communities in Barker to check the guidelines for Round 3 and submit an application if they can.” Mr Pasin said.

Minister Pitt said previous rounds of the program have already delivered real benefits.

“Close to $39 million of funding has already been delivered under Rounds 1 and 2 of the program for a huge range of activities – from thermal hot springs upgrades to business mentoring, ecotourism trails, agritourism projects and aerodrome developments.”

EDP Round 3 grant applications open from March 3 and will close on 12 April 2021.

From Wednesday you can visit the GrantConnect or Community Grants Hub websites to find out if your community is eligible or for information on how to apply.