The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is holding its first annual workshop today to share information with stakeholders and also build confidence in a range of measures that will deliver greater environmental benefits to the river system.
The Australian Government and the Opposition committed to two sets of amendments to the Basin Plan which were supported by an agreement detailing actions to improve transparency and accountability to the operations of the Basin Plan.
MDBA head of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said the 2018 workshop was one deliverable from the agreement that aims to build confidence in the MDBA assessment of environmental projects and provide a forum for stakeholders to connect and share information.
“These projects are about delivering the environmental outcomes required under the Basin Plan by using water for the environment more effectively rather than purchasing it from irrigators,” Mr Reynolds said.
“The technical workshops will share information on the projects, their assessment, and how we will be monitoring their performance going forward — this is to ensure we are as transparent as possible.
“We will continue to monitor the projects leading up to 2024 and we have also published additional information about the projects on our website.
“As an independent and expertise based agency, the MDBA relies on input from ecological and hydrological scientists, along with others with specialist and local knowledge.
“We don’t expect everyone to have a detailed understanding of the projects by the end of the day, but we are hoping to have a plan in place to share information and build confidence.
“The implementation of these projects is led by the relevant state governments so although the projects don’t have to be in operation until 2024, a lot of work has to happen along the way to ensure they will deliver the outcomes promised.
“Over 50 interested stakeholders will attend the workshop today, including peak interest groups, scientists and other technical participants, and State and Commonwealth agencies.
“The general community will also have access to information when a summary of the workshop outcomes is published online making sure important documents are publicly available.”
- More information on the projects is available on the MDBA website.