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Published: 25 October 2018   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has welcomed the appointment of seven distinguished Australian scientists to the independent advisory body that helps guide the MDBA's implementation of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

MDBA Chair Neil Andrew said the Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences (ACSEES) brought an impressive depth of understanding and expertise across a range of scientific disciplines that underpin the Basin Plan.

"The Committee comprises an outstanding group of technical experts specialising in different aspects of water-related research and analysis for the Murray–Darling," Mr Andrew said.

"Their technical and policy expertise in economics, hydrology, climate, ecology, water governance and law, sociology and sustainable systems will inform the MDBA's ongoing work to deliver the Basin Plan to meet the future needs of the economies, communities and environmental assets of the Basin."

The Committee comprises the following members:

Professor Robert Vertessy (Chair), water security and environmental intelligence, University of Melbourne's School of Engineering and former head of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Professor Poh-Ling Tan, water law and governance, Griffith University's International Water Centre
Professor Michael Stewardson, environmental hydrology, water sharing and river science, University of Melbourne's School of Engineering
Professor David James, environmental and natural resource economics, University of the Sunshine Coast
Professor Sue Jackson, cultural and economic geography, Griffith University's Australian Rivers Institute
Professor Roger Stone, applied climate science, University of Southern Queensland
Professor Nick Bond, ecology and hydrology, La Trobe University's Centre for Freshwater Ecosystems.

"I look forward to the contribution ACSEES will make to the MDBA's work over the next important phase of Basin Plan implementation," Mr Andrew said.

"The Committee's work will help build confidence that the Basin Plan is supported by robust analysis, science and knowledge to deliver sustainable outcomes for communities, farmers and the environment, for current and future generations.

"It is critically important that the Authority's deliberations are supported by active engagement with the academic community. Open and in-depth discussion about the relevant environmental, economic and social science is important if the Authority is to balance different lines of evidence and advice in adapting the Basin Plan so we can achieve the best possible outcomes."

ACSEES meets two or three times a year and provides ongoing advice to the MDBA. The Committee's focus for 2018-19 includes hydrological issues, the approach to Basin Plan evaluation, climate change and adaptive management.

The MDBA first established ACSEES in 2012 as an advisory committee under Section 203 of the Water Act 2007, alongside other advisory bodies such as the Basin Community Committee.


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