MDBA progressing regional presence agenda

20 March 2017

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is increasing its regional presence and links with Basin communities, opening offices in Toowoomba, Queensland; Albury- Wodonga, on the NSW and Victorian border; and Adelaide, South Australia.

The MDBA Chief Executive, Phillip Glyde, said that within the next two years about 10 per cent of MDBA staff, or up to 30 employees, were expected to voluntarily relocate to the new regional offices.

"Our regionalised approach will be good for basin communities – not just those centres we're establishing in," Mr Glyde said.

"Regionally based staff will help us improve information exchange between communities and the MDBA, strengthen our policy and program decisions through better consideration of local impacts and give communities a better understanding of the MDBA's work.

"The next step for us is to continue consulting with our staff to identify those with an interest in moving to one of the regions, while we lock in accommodation in these centres."

Mr Glyde said he was confident that the regionalisation process would be managed through voluntary relocation of current staff to these new offices.

"We anticipate a range of policy, program and corporate roles will be relocated and we're confident we'll be able to attract suitably skilled staff to perform the varied roles required to deliver the MDBA's work at the locations we have selected," Mr Glyde said.

Mr Glyde said that the new three regional offices would complement the MDBA's trial of regional engagement officers (REOs) and the Canberra office.

"These regional offices combined with our REO network will ensure that we have a physical presence in each Basin state," Mr Glyde said.

"We're pleased with the insights that REOs are already bringing to our work and will review our REO pilot program in October 2017, to inform how best to continue the program in the future.

"In the current trial we've partnered with a range of community, natural resource management and local government organisations to employ part-time regional engagement officers.

Today I am also pleased to confirm two REOs for the Barwon-Darling and Lower Balonne communities. These two join existing REOs hosted in Shepparton, North- east Victoria, Sunraysia, Western Riverina and Murray Bridge."

Mr Glyde said the MDBA would monitor the progress of both regionalisation and the REO network and would make the transitions in a considered manner.

Funding for the regional offices and REO network will be drawn from existing resources.

Ends

For more information, contact the MDBA Media office at media@mdba.gov.au or 02 6279 0141

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