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Published: 28 April 2021   •   Media release

People from across the diverse communities of the Murray–Darling Basin will come together to share the latest knowledge, achievements and challenges in water management at the inaugural MDBA-hosted annual conference River Reflections in Griffith, NSW this 9-10 June, 2021.

MDBA Executive Director of Basin Strategy and Knowledge, Vicki Woodburn said the conference is designed to provide the space and time for productive connections and conversations between the diverse communities of the Basin, including industry, agriculture, natural resource management, First Nations and tourism.

"This is the first annual conference. Each year a different region in the Basin will host the event. The Program has been developed in collaboration with community and industry leaders – an approach that enables focus themes to cover areas of most interest as well as highlight perspectives from the host region," Vicki Woodburn said.

"The program includes a broad line-up of speakers sharing information about river and ecosystem health, First Nations Peoples' interests and contributions to water management, water use innovation, and climate challenges, among other topics.

"It's not just about listening – there are plenty of opportunities for lively interactions and discussions as well.

"And while this first conference is being hosted in Griffith, the focus is both local and Basin-wide, and open to anyone from anywhere to attend either in person or online."

Among the range of people involved in the conference is Geoff McLeod of the non-profit organisation supporting improved irrigated farming, Southern Growers. Geoff will provide insights on farming systems adaptation which he's been directly involved with in the Southern Riverina, and give conference participants the chance to ask questions.

"Sharing information is an important way our farming community can gain confidence to adopt different approaches to improve irrigated farming. I welcome the opportunity to talk about our experiences, challenges and the solutions we are working towards," Mr McLeod said.

Also presenting at the conference is Braeden Lampard from Ozfish Unlimited, which works to protect and restore our waterways and help other recreational fishers get involved. Braeden will provide insights into their plans and projections for supporting ongoing recreational fishing in the Basin over the next five years, and take part in discussions with conference participants.

"It's important to keep your eyes on what's to come, and I look forward to sharing our plans with others and perhaps hearing other ideas and perspectives," Mr Lampard said.

The conference includes a bus tour with commentary provided by Murrumbidgee Irrigation, where participants will visit a Murray Cod farm and a citrus farm to see first-hand some of the successful businesses operating in Griffith.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt MP and Minister for the Environment and Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley MP will provide keynote addresses. The conference delivers on a 2019 Australian Government election commitment to demonstrate effective community engagement through an annual water conference in regional locations.

The first day will be streamed live online so anyone across the Basin or the world can participate. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there are restrictions on numbers who can attend, and registration is on a first come first served basis. Costs for attending participants have been kept low.

For more information and to register for the conference visit: www.mdba.gov.au/news-media-events/river-reflections-conference

ENDS

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