Member for Murray Austin Evans said new funding of $10 million in Environmental Trust grants will be available for groups to apply new approaches to integrated river management across the state.

Mr Evans said the program has been designed to empower communities to trial new approaches to integrated river management at a large scale that can lead to improved river health and for the benefit of everyone who uses that waterway.

“In particular the River Connections program will provide the means to tackle river and aquatic degradation at the landscape scale over a long term period,” Mr Evans said.

“Projects will investigate and analyse the barriers, threats and opportunities to integrated river management, identify and include the multitude of river users, and trial new innovative approaches and techniques to river management that can deliver improved river health outcomes.

It is expected the $10 million River Connections funding will complement existing activities and significantly leverage current co-contributions.

The program will be delivered in stages, with the call for applications open from Monday 29 October to Monday 11 February 2019 through an expression of interest.

Shortlisted applicants will have access to seed funding grants of up to $30,000 at the end of Stage 1 to support the development of detailed business plans to progress to the next stage.

Regional workshops will be conducted in Tamworth, Dubbo, Wagga, Wagga and Albury to provide program information to potential applicants and provide an opportunity for these communities to come together and network their ideas. The workshop dates and locations are as follows, with venues soon to be confirmed:

• Wagga Wagga – Monday 12 November 2018
• Albury – Tuesday 13 November 2018
• Tamworth – Tuesday 20 November 2018
• Dubbo – Wednesday 21 November 2018

For more information about the River Connections grants program, see the Environmental Trust website for the Trust’s contact details https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/envtrust.htm