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Strengthening social and economic outcomes

The 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation and recent reviews highlight an urgent need for targeted and focused support for communities in the Basin, particularly smaller, irrigation-dependent and remote communities. This requires meaningful engagement to customise support and provide improved information.

Basin communities are experiencing rapid change driven by many factors, of which water availability is only one.

Recent commitments by Basin government water ministers will improve information access and respond to some of the community concerns about information and engagement. These include:

All Saints vineyard in Rutherglen, Victoria

All Saints vineyard in Rutherglen, Victoria

Recommendations and commitments for the future

Evaluating the Basin Plan is an opportunity for Basin governments to reflect on the past 8 years.

The Evaluation considers the changing landscape across the Basin, the effectiveness of the Basin Plan and whether outcomes are being achieved. It's also an opportunity to determine how we continue to improve the health of the Basin for everyone.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has made several recommendations and commitments to improve the management of water resources. The MDBA has made the following recommendations to strengthen social and economic outcomes:

  • Recommendation 6 – Basin governments and the MDBA need to work in partnership with industry, First Nations and other water users to ensure water information is more accessible, understandable and timely, to create a more transparent, effective, practical operating environment for water users.
  • Recommendation 7 – Basin governments and the MDBA must commit to working with Basin communities on water management to boost meaningful and coordinated two-way engagement.
  • Recommendation 8 – Basin governments need to strengthen policies and programs that support communities and industries to adapt and prosper – including, but going beyond, water-focused programs. Investment in collecting social and economic data at Basin and regional scales is required to shape well designed and targeted support for communities and industries. There are opportunities to stimulate regional development and prosperity through facilitating adjustment, and underpinning agricultural development including research and development, First Nations' policies, infrastructure investment and land use planning.

The MDBA has also made a commitment to improve social and economic outcomes.

MDBA commitment

In collaboration with the Australian Government, experts and researchers, the MDBA will help improve social, economic and cultural data collection and analysis. Through its regional network, the MDBA will disseminate this information to support community planning processes.

Updated: 21 Oct 2021