15 Dec 2023

Further funding flows into river regions


Four local councils along the Murray River in South Australia have been allocated a share of more than $100,000 in funding to support new and emerging events to drive visitors to the region.
Berri Barmera Council, District Council of Loxton Waikerie and Rural City of Murray Bridge councils will all receive $15,000 while Mid Murray Council will be allocated $90,000 under the SATC’s Tourism Event Support Grant.
The local councils will use the funding to support some existing events as well as new events planned and delivered next year. These include new carp fishing competitions at Loxton and Murray Bridge, a new BBQ challenge, music, food and light show festival on Lake Bonney, a Cobdogla Country Music Festival, and powerboat races and rowing regattas at Berri.
A key aim for this funding is to deliver new events that are sustainable over coming years and that increase the visitor experience and appeal of our river regions.
The additional funds given to Mid Murray Council will also support tourism recovery efforts in the region, including creating new events and helping market the region, which was hit particularly hard during the flood event.
The Tourism Event Support Grant is part of the $500,000 Mid Murray recovery funding which also includes more than $300,000 to support businesses significantly impacted by the floods.
Both of these funding programs are part of the $4.6 million river recovery plan which has delivered key stimulus programs including the ‘Rise up for our River’ marketing campaign and the River Revival Voucher program.
Last week, details of Round 3 of the voucher program was announced. Data from Rounds 1 and 2 showed the economic impact was significant, pumping more than $10 million into the severely flood impacted Riverland and Murray River, Lakes and Coorong regions.
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said the State Government is committed to supporting South Australia's river communities and it’s great to see the $150,000 Tourism Event Support Grant now allocated.
"We know events are an important driver of visitation, giving people a reason to visit, ‘right now’. With a range of new and exciting events planned for 2024 and beyond, we expect to see more visitors travelling to our river regions to see all that is on offer," Minister Bettison said. 
I’d like to thank the Mid Murray, Berri Barmera, Loxton Waikerie, Murray Bridge and Renmark Paringa Councils for their ongoing support in delivering this targeted and timely support.
Mid Murray Council Mayor, Simone Bailey said it is delightful to receive a $90,000 Tourism Event Support Grant and know it will make a significant impact in driving more visitation to our local towns and communities.
"During the summer of 2022-23, many planned annual events were cancelled. This funding will help us support the return of existing events while providing opportunities for new events. We’ll also be undertaking marketing activity to support the local tourism sector," Ms Bailey said.
"We’re pleased to be able to share the $150,000 in funding with our neighbouring councils who were also hit hard by the once in a century flooding event."