Media Releases


Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories Catherine King


30 AUGUST 2013

The Rudd Labor Government has announced it will deliver $25 million to support Victorian communities in the Murray-Darling Basin, helping to build stronger regional economies and ensuring the preservation of the river and ecosystem.

The package will be delivered as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin and is an initiative to broaden the economic base of river communities.

As part of an agreement between the Rudd Labor Government and the Victorian Government $15 million will be invested to support the delivery of natural gas to river communities.

Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories, Catherine King said Victorian communities had put their trust in the Government to support them and Federal Labor was delivering on that commitment.

“Federal Labor has a plan to make the transition to sustainable future industries. We are investing and providing the support needed for those communities affected by environmental changes, and see great potential in the industries and towns along the Murray-Darling.”

Minister King welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, and said the Federal and State support was essential to give certainty to irrigators and industries reliant on the Murray River.

The remaining $10 million will support 10 additional projects that diversify the economies of affected communities and support future employment opportunities. 

The projects have been selected for their ability to improve employment opportunities and stimulate regional growth, in order to assist Basin communities in meeting the challenges of living in a water-constrained environment.

Projects were identified following consultation with the communities and Regional Development Australia Loddon Mallee and the Murray River Group of Councils.

Funding for these initiatives is already included in the budget as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program and will be delivered under a re-elected Rudd Labor Government.

By contrast, Nationals Leader Warren Truss has refused to guarantee funding towards these projects:

“We will honour all contracts that have been signed. If there haven't been contracts signed, well then they are just a Labor Party election promise.”


It’s clear that these vital projects would face the axe under the Coalition.

“This is extremely disappointing, given the cooperative way the Rudd Labor Government has worked with the Victorian Government, local councils and Regional Development Australia committees to deliver these important projects,” Minister King said.

“Mr Truss needs to pick up the phone and explain to his Victorian colleagues why they won’t rule out cutting these important projects, if elected. The communities relying on these vital projects deserve no less.”

A list of projects is attached and more information about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is available at   

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