Wakool Region Community Adaptation Strategy

Planning for funding success

Wakool Region Community Adaptation Strategy

Planning for funding success

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

Agriculture is the leading employment sector for Murray River Council accounting for 26% of total employment. The community has been significantly impacted as a result of the Millennium Drought, the Murray Darling Basin Plan and associated water reform processes. Between 2001 and 2016, the Wakool region population has reduced by 45.6% and farm employment has fallen by around 72%.The socio-economic wealth decile for the Wakool Region has diminished considerably reducing the financial capacity of businesses to adapt to change.

The solution

Western Murray Land Improvement Group conducted targeted and strategic community engagement activities to identify structural and transformation change opportunities for the region. Community driven ideas were combined with other regional socio-economic study outcomes and sector growth opportunity themes identified by leading research and development institutions. Information gathered over several years was integrated into a funding proposal titled the ‘’Wakool Community Adaptation Strategy’’. In 2019, funding was successfully obtained from the Federal Governments Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program. Funding provides resources that support programs associated with connectedness, focus groups, leadership, education and training, business and risk management, innovation and entrepreneurial support, agricultural production extension and adoption, agrisystem and regional marketing development (quality systems, new markets, value chain, traceability, food provenance etc.). Funding was also sought to develop eco and agri-tourism opportunities within our community which will bring people to our area, create job opportunities, showcase our region and demonstrate pride in our produce, products and people.

The impact

The program is due for completion in April 2022, and is progressing well with the first cohort of program participants engaged in a business development program learning how to turn innovative business ideas into realisation. The real impact so far however is bringing the community and a diverse range of stakeholders along a journey together to develop solutions to adverse situations, by converging local experience and diverse views with expert analysis and future scenario planning to provide a pathway for adaptation to changing circumstances.

Key facts

  • $1 million funding received
  • Planning distilled 2.5 years of community engagement information
  • 12 planning sessions,
  • 202 people
  • 27 community group reps
  • 24 business and government entities

Project Partners