River Murray funding for economic development projects

Media Release

WT086/2015

24 March 2015

Joint release with:

Geoff Brock

Minister for Regional Development
Minister for Local Government

Almost $5 million will be invested in six projects selected for funding under the Regional Development and Innovation Fund (RDIF), as part of the Australian Government's $265 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program (SARMS).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss said these regional projects will deliver employment and economic diversification opportunities to River Murray communities.

“The RDIF program will provide $12.5 million to significant regional economic development projects located in South Australia's River Murray region, with Round One seeking a minimum investment of $1 million per project, of which at least half needed to be a co-contribution by the applicant,” Mr Truss said.

“Successful applicants include Peregrine Corporation Pty Ltd, the University of Adelaide, GrowSmart Training, Rockford Homes Pty Ltd, Peats Soil and Garden Supplies and SA Sawdust Sales.

“The various projects put forward by these entities create great opportunities for local jobs and economic growth and support the investment currently being made through the Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP).

“They also enable greater diversity in various economic opportunities that are less reliant on the River Murray water supply.”

South Australian Minister for Regional Development, Geoff Brock said that the projects being offered funding in the first round will have a positive impact on River Murray communities.

“This scale of regional investment will not only deliver outcomes through the projects themselves, but also create spin-off benefits for local industries, including the supply of raw materials, building and construction,” Mr Brock said.

“As we have seen recently with the 3IP, the RDIF has been well oversubscribed.

“This means the competitive assessment process has had to select only the very best value for money propositions that demonstrate economic development, social impact and innovation.”

Mr Truss said $1 million in funding was being offered to Peregrine Corporation Pty Ltd to develop an industrial precinct to complement the proposed multi-faceted Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend, also to be developed by Peregrine Corporation.

“This project is a great example of economic diversification for the region. The industrial precinct will benefit regional and national companies involved in warehousing, storage and light industry, transport and logistics, and motorsport-related industries,” he said.

“The University of Adelaide has been offered $500,000 in RDIF funding to establish its successful e-challenge entrepreneurship program in the Riverland to develop our next generation of entrepreneurs.

“GrowSmart Training will be developing the Chaffey Learning Exchange with a funding offer of $1.1 million, to deliver an integrated world class post-secondary education network.

“This will include new land management curriculum and courses, co-learning support groups enabling students to undertake further education in regional areas, and entrepreneurship hubs aimed at driving diversification and innovation in the South Australian River Murray region.

“To help address an accommodation shortage for seasonal workers in Paringa, Rockford Homes Pty Ltd has been offered $1.2 million to construct a Workers Accommodation Park.

“Peats Soil and Garden Supplies is moving into a cleaner and greener world through use of a renewable source of energy with a funding offer of $500,000.

“SA Sawdust Sales has also been offered funding of $500,000 to expand its business operations so it can meet demand from the growing South Australian chicken broiler industry.”

Round Two for RDIF and the Industry-led Research Sub-Program are currently open for registration of interest on the Primary Industries and Regions SA website.

The RDIF is part of the Regional Economic Development element of the $265 million SARMS.  It was conceived through the Water Industry Alliance's River Murray Improvements Program proposal, and agreed as part of the Basin Plan package negotiated with the State Government in 2012.

For further information about the program, please visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/regions/sarms.