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Published: 15 September 2020   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is undertaking a range of actions to make it easier for Basin communities to see and understand what's happening with river management and contribute to the ongoing conversation about water reform.

Speaking earlier this week at the Murray–Darling Association's 76th National Conference, Chief Executive of the MDBA, Phillip Glyde said recent findings on the difficulties being faced by communities had prompted the MDBA to look again at what more could be done by the agency to improve transparency and two-way communication.

"The work by Robbie Sefton and the panel [for the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Basin] has made a critical contribution to our collective understanding of the Basin today," Mr Glyde said.

"While not seen, the MDBA has been advocating for increased support for communities for some time.

"A healthy working basin requires healthy working communities – improved water management cannot progress without community support."

The MDBA will undertake the following initiatives aimed at boosting transparency and collaboration:

  • Increasing communications about River Murray operations including running a webinar series about the way the MDBA operates the Murray River.
  • Focusing on using new engagement methods, and making sure approaches are tailored to suit local communities.
  • Boosting the diversity of MDBA consultative committees, drawing on people across different communities and sectors, and different walks of life.
  • Hosting the first annual Murrayؘ–Darling Basin Conference in Mildura in 2021 and continuing annual conferences from different locations in the Basin.

Mr Glyde said the MDBA would continue to be the truth tellers on the Basin Plan and report on progress – the good, the bad and the ugly.

"Our report cards and reviews aren't always comfortable reading for governments and other agencies," Mr Glyde said.

"But they are necessary so that policies and programs can be adjusted to make sure we end up with a truly sustainable Murray–Darling Basin, where all its values are protected and can be enjoyed by our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren."

The MDBA has welcomed the assistance and support that will be provided to communities by the Federal government, announced earlier in September, which focuses on communities and jobs and sets out a package of 11 actions, supported by more than $230 million in funding to get on with implementing the Basin Plan.

The Murray–Darling Association (MDA) is a peak body that works to provide effective representation of local government and communities at state and federal level in the management of Basin resources. This year's MDA conference was presented in partnership with the City of Greater Shepparton on 14-16 September 2020.

For the full transcript of Phillip Glyde's speech to the MDA conference on 14 September, please refer to the MDBA website: www.mdba.gov.au/media/mr/speech-murray-darling-association-mda-conference-2020

ENDS

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