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Published: 12 March 2019   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority has long been committed to developing and maintaining strong regional links with communities, in line with the Australian Government's decentralisation approach.

The MDBA's Chief Executive, Phillip Glyde, said the government's decision to regionalise about a third of the organisation was an extension of the work the MDBA had already undertaken in establishing regional offices across the Basin.

"The MDBA recognised that the views of communities would only enhance our work and we prioritised our budget to develop an ongoing regional engagement officer program as well as opening offices in Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Albury-Wodonga, Adelaide and Canberra," Mr Glyde said.

"Today 10 per cent of our staff work outside Canberra and this announcement by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, of a new Mildura office builds on our demonstrated commitment to listen and learn from the communities of the Murray–Darling Basin.

"Thanks to the government's financial commitment, we are in a good position to work with our staff and the Mildura community to deliver this government decision in a planned and measured way.

"The expertise of our staff is highly valued and their feedback and ideas will be critically important to the planning the MDBA undertakes to deliver the government decision in 2021.

"We won't rush the regionalisation process and will work through the opportunities and issues methodically in collaboration with our staff to ensure the important work of implementing the Basin Plan and managing the River Murray is not hindered.

"I also look forward to continuing to work closely with Basin governments and communities to ensure everyone benefits from an enhanced regional presence.

"Further regionalisation is an opportunity for the MDBA to build even stronger links with communities across the Murray–Darling Basin which, in turn, will improve Basin Plan implementation and our management of the River Murray on behalf of Basin governments.

"The Basin Plan is one of the most significant, long-term water reforms in Australia or the world, and greater community involvement is critical to its successful implementation."

ENDS

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