River Murray irrigators, regional businesses and community members will come together today at Loxton to celebrate the outcomes and projects generated by the $265 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program.
The regional forum will be attended by industry stakeholders from across the state and showcase the 282 grantee projects under the program and highlight the benefits to the wider region.
The forum will focus on three main themes: building resilience and developing markets, business diversification and economic development and irrigation infrastructure.
SARMS is comprised of two main areas of investment - $240 million for the Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP) and $25 million for the Regional Economic Development (RED) Program.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the program was critical to the growth of strong and sustainable irrigation communities as well as the future health of the South Australian River Murray region.
“I’m looking forward to hearing from the grantees who will be presenting, sharing their experiences, the research, the new technologies and water efficiencies achieved through this program,” said Minister Whetstone.
“There is no doubt that SARMS has and is still helping reshape the communities from the border to the river mouth, building a more resilient and sustainable agriculture-based region able to withstand future challenges.
“An estimated 1550 jobs will be created through this program by the time it finishes in mid-2019 but this forum is also about what happens next, what are the region’s next priorities and how do we take these outcomes and continue to support long-term sustainable industry growth across the region.”
Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said that SARMS is a great example of two government’s working together to deliver a healthy River Murray.
“The forum is a genuine representation of the populations and interests that make up Basin communities across South Australia” Senator Ruston said.
“Our region’s longevity is so often tied to the sustainability of the river.”
SARMS is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and has been running since 2013.