Skip to main content
Go to search page
Published: 18 July 2018   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) today announced 12 new members of the key community advisory body which helps guide the Basin's management and implementation of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

MDBA Chair Neil Andrew said the new Basin Community Committee members represented diverse areas of the Basin and would bring widespread expertise and community views on water use, local government, the environment and Indigenous water issues.

The new members will serve for three years, and will join four existing members Karen Hutchinson, Howard Jones, Jo Pfeiffer and current Chair Rory Treweeke, whose terms have been extended for up to 18 months.

"I congratulate the new community committee members on their appointment and look forward to their advice and guidance on the implementation of the Basin Plan," Mr Andrew said.

"Basin Community Committee members are key local contacts for the Authority and other Basin governments, and provide crucial insights into the issues and concerns of communities, including water usage, environmental, cultural and socio-economic matters."

Mr Andrew said the Basin Community Committee had a vital and essential role to both help the Authority understand the complex issues across the entire Basin, and to give advice on how to best manage the Basin's water resources in the future.

He said the Basin Community Committee would be crucial in ensuring the Basin Plan can deliver sustainable management of water for communities, farmers and the environment, for current and future generations.

Mr Andrew said the new Basin Community Committee would hold its first meeting in August.

The Murray-Darling Basin is Australia's food bowl which produces more than $22 billion worth of food and fibre a year and is home to more than two million people.

The Basin Community Committee members are

Phil Duncan (Gwydir) - Phil, a Gomeroi man from Moree, has provided high level policy and strategic advice to key Aboriginal representative organisations, State and Federal Governments as well as key external stakeholder groups. Phil has more than 38 years of experience working with Aboriginal people, communities and liaising with Governments.

Amy Fay (Goulburn-Murray) - Amy lives in Echuca and is the manager of strategic projects for Murray Dairy. She runs an agricultural project management company Propagate Projects. Amy was a former chair of the National Farmers' Federation Innovation Committee. She has been selected in the 2018 Australian Rural Leadership Program.

Karen Hutchinson* (Murrumbidgee) - Karen lives in the Riverina. She was a key advocate for Basin communities during the development of the Basin Plan. She is part of the senior management team at Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited, the largest private irrigation infrastructure operator in NSW, as the company's General Manager for Policy and Communications. In 2011 Karen was awarded the prestigious RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year for NSW.

Emily Jenke (Lower Lakes) - Emily owns and runs two businesses in the Basin - an olive oil business in Strathalbyn and a specialist engagement consultancy that operates nationally and internationally. Emily is the current chair of the SA Native Vegetation Council and is also a member of the River Murray Advisory Committee.

Howard Jones* (Lower Darling) - Howard currently owns and manages a vineyard with his wife in the in the Coomealla Irrigation Area of NSW. He grew up on the Wimmera River and has developed a deep passion for the preservation of rivers and the wetlands. He became a member of the Basin Community Committee in 2013 and offers more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in the irrigation industry.

Susan Madden (Authority member) - Susan lives in Dubbo and is one of the six members of the MDBA. She has extensive experience in agricultural economics and agricultural and resource management. She is Chair of the Central West Local Land Services and sits on the Local Land Services Board of Chairs.

Neil Martinson (Riverland) - Neil is Mayor of the Renmark Paringa Council in SA, is the chair of Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Incorporated, and is a member of the South Australian River Murray Sustainability program.

Katrina Myers (Mid-Murray) - Katrina is an irrigator and mixed farming business owner from Barham NSW. She has a Masters of International Urban and Environmental Management and a Bachelor of Agriculture.

Samantha O'Toole (Lower Balonne) - Samantha is a small business owner in St George Queensland. She is a councillor with the Balonne Shire, where she holds the water portfolio.

Sandra Peckham (Bogan) - Sandra is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people of Dandaloo-Bogan River-Warramunga people. She has worked with Aboriginal organisations and programs to improve health, housing, education and economic opportunities for Aboriginal people.

Jo Pfeiffer* (Lower Lakes) - Jo operates an irrigation beef farm with her husband in the Lower Murray Swamps at Murray Bridge in South Australia. She has been involved at many levels of decision and policy making for water resource management for more than 20 years. Jo was an inaugural member of both the SA River Murray Catchment Water Management Board and the SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board.

Floyd Robinson (Warrego) - Floyd is a proud Bidjera man who has a deep understanding of the importance of water to Aboriginal communities across the Basin.

Sue Rudd (Sunraysia) - Sue is a small business owner from Merbein in Victoria. She is a graduate of the Northern Mallee Leadership Program and was a founding member of the Women Advancing Rural Communities Group.

David Thurley (Upper Murray) - From Lavington NSW, David is a councillor with the Albury City Council and is National President of the Murray-Darling Association.

Rory Treweeke* (Chair) (Lower Balonne) - Rory is a floodplain grazier from Lightning Ridge. Rory is an experienced leader in natural resource management and has been involved in water issues since the 1970s. Rory became chair of the Basin Community Committee on 1 July 2013, is currently a member of the Lower Balonne Water Network and the Australian Floodplain Association, and was previously Chair of the Western Catchment Management Authority.

Adrian Weston (Goulburn-Broken) - Adrian is a mixed cropping irrigator and dryland grazier from Rushworth Victoria. He is a councillor with the shire of Campaspe, and he is deputy chair of the Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority.

NOTE * denotes existing BCC member.


Get in touch with the MDBA media team

Media releases

Sign me up to receive media releases:

Get in touch

Journalists can contact the MDBA 24 hour media unit on (02) 6279 0141 or reach us at

Follow us on social media

Follow @MD_Basin_Auth on Twitter
Find MDBAuth on Facebook