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22 Mar 2022

Healthy Rivers grant helping Mayo communities care for waterways │ The Times, Victor Harbor


The Murray River system received a Federal Government cash injection to keep Australia's main water way and its wildlife healthy and sustainable.

Federal Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt and Senator Andrew McLachlan announced a grant to restore vital habitats fringing Lake Alexandrina through the $20 million Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program.

Minister Pitt said the grants were designed to help communities deliver on-ground projects to improve the health of local rivers and wetlands.

"I am pleased to announce Mayo will receive $450,000 in this last tranche of Healthy Rivers funding," Mr Pitt said.

"The Healthy Rivers program is collectively funding activities to plant about 300,000 native plants, install 230km of fencing to protect 2000 hectares of riparian areas and undertake approximately 30,000 hectares of weed control."

Senator McLachlan welcomed the additional funding for Mayo which will support the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association (GWLAP) to utilise its expert local knowledge to care for precious ecosystems at Lake Alexandrina.

"GWLAP will use this important funding to restore vital habitat for native species around Lake Alexandrina. Invasive species will be removed and replaced by native flora and fauna," Mr McLachlan said.

"The project will bring together land managers, community groups and Traditional Owners to create a habitat for threatened species including the Southern Emu Wren and Orange-bellied Parrot.

"The Lower Lakes are a natural wonder of global significance and it is imperative that we work day and night to conserve the region's biodiversity and especially protect all our native Australian species.

"I am strongly committed to protecting the future of the Lower Lakes system and this project is a great example of the government working with the community to preserve our environment for generations to come."

Mr McLachlan said Healthy Rivers grants would improve local economies with recipients committing to buying from Basin communities.

"These grants put money into local businesses, providing employment and strengthening recreational and tourism offerings," Mr McLachlan said.

"Healthy Rivers grants bring communities together to work on protecting the Murray-Darling Basin's vital waterways. The Healthy Rivers Program forms a key part of the Australian Government's Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package, which is putting communities back at the heart of the Basin Plan."

Fast Facts - 160 Healthy Rivers grants have received funding through the Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program.

Projects across Mayo aim to plant 53,000 native plants, undertake 150 hectares of weed control and control erosion across 43 hectares. Under all rounds of the program more than $800,000 in funding has gone to Mayo.

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