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Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin

Across the Basin, people have been dealing with issues such as drought, demographic change, commodity price changes and the biggest water reform in Australia’s history.

The Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin was commissioned in mid-2019 by the then Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, The Hon David Littleproud MP. The assessment panel was independent to the MDBA, reporting directly to the Minister.

The final report was released by Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, The Hon Kieth Pitt MP, on 4 September 2020.

The assessment panel included Chair Robbie Sefton, Andrew Kassebaum, David McKenzie, Dr Deborah Peterson, Michelle Ramsay, Bruce Simpson and Rene Woods, who met with 750 people in communities, received 70 submissions to the draft report and commissioned extensive social and economic research.

The review highlighted there are underlying issues greater than water reform and a whole-of-government response is needed to address changes in population, industry and technology across the Basin.

Of the report’s 22 recommendations, three relate to the MDBA’s work in engagement, non-water related Basin Plan accounting, and socio-economic evaluation. You can read the MDBA’s media release detailing our response to the report here.

You can read the final report (and full details of the recommendation), submissions received by the public (where individuals/organisations agreed for them to be made public) case studies and technical summaries below.


Panel reports
Final report: Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin
Summary of report: Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin
Technical summary: Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin
Media release on release of final report – September 2020
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Submissions on the Panel's Draft Report
001 Submission
002 Submission
003 Submission
004 Submission
005 Submission
006 Submission
007 Submission
008 Submission
009 Submission
011 Submission
012 Submission
013 Submission
014 Submission
015 Submission
016 Submission
017 Submission
018 Australian Dairy Submission
019 Submission
020 Submission
021 Submission
022 Submission
023 Submission
024 Submission
025 Submission
027 Submission
028 Submission
029 Submission
031 Connections Project Submission
032 Submission
033 Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations Submission
034 Submission
035 Submission
036 Murrumbidgee Irrigation Submission
037 Lifeblood Alliance Submission
038 Greater Shepparton City Council Submission
040 Submission
041 Healthy Rivers Ambassadors Submission
042 Murray Valley Joint Stakeholder Submission
043 New South Wales Farmers Submission
044 Submission
045 Submission
046 Submission
047 Submission
048 Submission
049 Headspace Submission
050 Submission
052 Submission
053 Submission
054 Australian Floodplains Association Submission
057 Border Rivers Food and Fibre Submission
058 Australian Grape and Wine Submission
059 Ricegrowers Association Submission
060 South Australian Dairy Farmers Submission
061 Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association Submission
062 Submission
063 Speak Up Submission
064 Murray Darling Association Submission
065 Sunraysia Branch, Victoria Farmers Federation
066 Submission
067 Leeton Shire Council Submission
068 Berrigan Shire Submission
069 Victorian Farmers Federation Submission
070 Submission
071 Coleambally Irrigation Submission
072 National Farmers Federation Submission
073 New South Wales Irrigators Council Submission
074 Mildura Rural City Council Submission
075 National Irrigators Council Submission
076 Submission
Updated: 18 Sep 2020  •   Independent reports