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Published: 01 April 2022

Chair of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Sir Angus Houston today welcomed the appointment of Mr Andrew McConville to the position of MDBA Chief Executive made by the Minister for Resources and Water, the Hon Keith Pitt MP.

Sir Angus Houston said Mr McConville would bring a new perspective to the challenging and complex space of water management in the MurrayDarling Basin in the face of climate change.

"Mr McConville joins the MDBA at a critical time, as we keep one eye focused on overseeing the roll out of the Basin Plan, and another focused on better understanding how climate change will impact the Basin's rivers while supporting the Basin and its communities to be future ready," Sir Angus said.

"Mr McConville is a proven leader with extensive experience across a range of organisations and industries, both domestically and internationally. With a comprehensive background in resource economics and financial management, Mr McConville has worked in senior corporate and management roles across agriculture, banking and natural resources.

"Mr McConville has a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics from the University of New England.

"Mr McConville will bring new energy and a fresh viewpoint as we continue overseeing water management in the national interest, with the wellbeing and resilience of the Basin river system and all who rely upon it at our heart." 

Mr McConville will commence in the role on 19 June 2022 and replaces Mr Phillip Glyde, who retired in December 2021.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Andrew Reynolds who has acted in the role and expertly steered the MDBA over the past 10 months. I hold Andrew in the highest regard and have the utmost respect for his subject matter expertise, his calm and considered leadership style and wisdom in never losing sight of what's important.

"I know Andrew will continue to make a significant contribution in his substantive role as Executive Director, River Management and support Mr McConville as he transitions into the role."

Sir Angus Houston also welcomed to the Authority's 7-member governing body Dr Jane Doolan and the reappointment of Professor Stuart Bunn.

Dr Jane Doolan is an eminent water specialist from Victoria who has extensive leadership experience in sustainable water resource and environmental management. She has previously held positions including Commissioner with the National Water Commission and the Productivity Commission, Professorial Fellow in Natural Resource Governance at the University of Canberra and Deputy Secretary for Water in the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

"Dr Doolan will make a valuable contribution in addressing issues such as the outstanding water resource plans and reconciliation of the sustainable diversion limit adjustment in 2024.

"In addition, I am pleased to note that Professor Stuart Bunn has been reappointed to the Authority for a further 4-year term. Director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University, Professor Bunn's deep knowledge of river and wetland systems will continue to underscore the MDBA's commitment to evidence-based science in our work ahead for the Murray-Darling Basin.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Ms Joanna Hewitt AO at the conclusion of her term on the Authority. Ms Hewitt has made an immense contribution to water reform during her time as an Authority member, which included a lengthy period as the acting MDBA Chair. Ms Hewitt has used her wealth of administrative experience, skill and judgement to ensure rigour and best practice has been applied to the Authority's responsibilities at all times. I am grateful to Joanna for her dedication over the past 4 years.

"Basin communities can be assured that the strength and ability of the MDBA leadership team is well placed to steer the course for the coming years as we meet the challenges and opportunities ahead. We will continue to work in partnership with communities, governments, scientists and all people invested in this crucial aspect of our nation's future."

About the Murray–Darling Basin Authority

The MDBA is an independent expertise-based statutory agency. We aim to achieve a healthy working Basin for the benefit of all Australians. The MDBA is responsible for overseeing the roll-out of the largest water reform of its kind in the world, the Murray–Darling Basin Plan, and running the River Murray on behalf of Basin states.  

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