The second round of grants under the $240 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Irrigation Industry Program (3IP) will open for Expressions of Interest on Monday September 22, 2014.

Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the program was one of the biggest ever government investments in a South Australian region.

“The Australian and South Australian government investment in the Riverland would return vital water to the River Murray,” he said.

“$100 million of funding was offered in Round One, which would deliver an expected return of 20 gigalitres of water to the river. More than $100 million would be available in Round Two.

“The first round saw a diverse mix of projects, including improvements to irrigation and energy use systems, redeveloping vineyards to higher value varieties, and redeveloping vacant and unproductive land to grow dried fruit and almonds.

“Some of these projects would return big volumes of water back to the River Murray due to the water and business efficiencies they would realise as a result of the funding.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Simon Birmingham, said River Murray communities had demonstrated a capacity for this program through strong demand during the first round.

“South Australia boasts many innovative and productive irrigators, and every dollar of this Australian Government investment will promote economic growth, both on the farm and also in our regional towns,” he said.

“This funding will support jobs, provide new opportunities for local businesses, strengthen river communities and make more water available for environmental flows. A program like this delivers true win-win-win outcomes.”

Minister Bignell said the 3IP program would deliver enduring benefits to irrigators throughout the Murray-Darling Basin in South Australia.

“It is playing a key role in helping us achieve our water recovery targets set out in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to the tune of 40 gigalitres,” he said.

The Federally-funded South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) program was conceived through the Water Industry Alliance’s River Murray Improvements Program proposal, and was negotiated as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

It includes the $240 million 3IP initiative, and the $25 million Regional Economic Development program. 

Regional information sessions for Round Two of 3IP will be held following the release of the Guidelines on Monday September 22, 2014. These sessions will provide a detailed explanation of the Guidelines, and an opportunity to connect with 3IP Regional Support Officers.

Expressions of Interest will close at 5.00 pm on Friday October 17, 2014.

Regional Information Sessions:

? Loxton Football Club, Thursday September 25, 11am-1pm, and 3pm-5pm
? Renmark Hotel, Friday September 26, 11am-1pm
? Waikerie Hotel, Monday September 29, 11am-1pm
? Berri Hotel, Monday September 29, 6pm-8pm
? Murray Bridge Community Club, Tuesday September 30, 11am-1pm
? Langhorne Creek Football Club, Tuesday September 30, 6pm-8pm
Online registration is available for these sessions on the 3IP website: