The Federal Government has announced the formation a new Murray-Darling Basin Diversification Project aimed at promoting economic opportunities for communities affected by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Basin Plan.


Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said regional experts would work across the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Goulburn-Broken and Condamine-Balonne catchments to help communities adapt to a future with less water.


Mr Crean said a Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Project would involve:

  • Marsden Jacob Associates - led by Dr Jeremy Cheesman - to work with the Murray and Murrumbidgee catchments (involving the Murray and Riverina Regional Development Australia (RDA) fund in New South Wales); and
  • RMCG - led by Mr Rob Rendell - to work with Goulburn-Broken and Condamine-Balonne catchments (involving the Hume, Loddon Mallee and Grampians RDAs in Victoria and Darling Downs and South West RDAs in Queensland).

"This project is about identifying potential options that build on existing competitive advantages like the natural resource base, local skills, the knowledge of regional universities and input from affected communities, government agencies and the RDA network," Mr Crean said.


"We have already taken early steps to deepen understanding of potential impacts and possible responses to living in a future with less water - this next proactive step is about the RDA working in partnership with the community to identify projects that will diversify their economies."


Mr Crean also announced that a dedicated Taskforce has been established within the Federal Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government to coordinate and oversee the community partnership.