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River reflections conference program 2022

River reflections conference. Connecting Basin communities, industries and ideas

This event has ended. See the River reflections 2022 summary page for more information, including conference recordings.

Conference venue

Quality Hotel Mildura Grand
Seventh Street, Mildura

Day 1 – Wednesday 1 June 2022

8:00 am Registrations (coffee and tea)  
9:00 am Welcome and housekeeping  
9:05 am Welcome to Country  

9:15 am

Welcome to Sunraysia from Mildura City Council

Councillor Liam Wood, Mayor, Mildura Rural City Council


9:20 am

Capitalising on COVID

Macro trends in Australia and what it means for the Basin

Simon Kuestenmacher, Director, The Demographics Group

(PDF - 1.3 MB)

9:50 am

Panel discussion: what is changing in my backyard?

Tim Goodes, Executive Director Basin Plan, Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)

Simon Kuestenmacher, Director, The Demographics Group

Peter O’Donnell, Chair, Mildura Airport and Southern Cross Farms

Tony Sharley, Eco-tourism owner, Murray River Trails

10:20 am Morning tea / exhibits  
10:50 am

In the Hot Seat: MDBA

Andrew Reynolds, A/g Chief Executive, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

11:00 am

Basin at a glance: a seasonal outlook

Andrew Kremor, A/g Executive Director, River Management, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

(PDF - 1.8 MB)

11:20 am Q&A with the MDBA  
11:30 am

Trends in irrigation development on the Murray and Lower Darling (Baaka) River Systems

Kelly Fyfe, SunRISE Mapping and Research

(PDF - 7 MB)
11:50 am

Balancing development risks and opportunities

Shining a spotlight on local issues through growers’ perspectives

Amy Goodman, Water Manager, Central Irrigation Trust

Frank Dimasi, Chair, Lower Murray Water Strategic Advisory Committee


Amy Goodman
(PDF - 2.2 MB)

Frank Dimasi

12:10 pm

Unpacking River Murray deliverability, shortfall risk and the Barmah Choke

Tyson Milne, Director River Murray Operations, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

(PDF - 1.2 MB)

12:30 pm Q&A with the MDBA  
12:40 pm Lunch / exhibits  
1:30 pm

Bus Tour of Murray–Darling junction, Wentworth

Visit the Murray–Darling junction at Wentworth and deepen your knowledge of regional water assets, the Western Murray Irrigation story and local water savings projects. This is followed by a visit to Lock Island and weir, and Lower Murray Water’s water treatment plant. Buses return 5.15 pm.

7:00 pm

Conference dinner (Willow and Ivie)

View the Dinner menu

‘On the couch conversation’

Facilitated by Warwick Long (ABC Radio)

Vibrant regional communities

Transformational change through adaptation and innovation

Panel conversation:

Peter Kelly, Business Manager, Murray Offroad Adventures

Harash Grewal, Golden Grain Mills, Grewal Farms, Lake Cullulleraine

Phil Grahame, General Manager, Ruralco Water


Day 2 – Thursday 2 June 2022

8:30 am Muster and exhibits  
8:50 am

Ministerial address

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water

8:55 am


Outline of the day including details of breakout sessions

9:00 am

Address: The future of the Basin

What we know, what we don’t know and what we’re seeking to find out

Sir Angus Houston, Chair, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

9:20 am

Basin water compliance

The Hon. Troy Grant, Inspector-General, Water Compliance

9:35 am Move to break out rooms  
9:40 am

Stories from the Basin: Conversations on regional success (3 sessions running concurrently)


Session 1:

Economic outcomes: diversity matters

  • A northern Basin perspectiveSam Heagney, South Bunarba Agriculture
  • Industry perspectiveTim Jackson, CEO, Almond Board Australia
  • Regional development perspective – Chris Parham, General Manager Corporate, Mildura Rural City Council

Chaired by Roseanne Healy, Murray–Darling Basin Authority


Sam Heagney
(PDF - 7 MB)

Tim Jackson
(PDF - 4 MB)

Session 2:

Fish, feathers and flows: environmental outcomes

  • Fish and Flow and Water QualityIain Ellis, Senior Fisheries Manager, NSW Department of Planning and Environment – Fisheries
  • An innovative industry partnership towards restoring Narran Lakes Michael Peat, Director, Northern Basin at the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
  • The Great Darling Anabranch water case studyMark Henderson, Environmental Water Management Officer, NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Chaired by Susan Madden, Murray–Darling Basin Authority


Iain Ellis
(PDF - 2.6 MB)

Pichael Peat
(TDF - 4.5 MB)

Mark Henderson
(PDF - 2 MB)

Session 3:

Sustainability for success: adapting to change with 3 grower representative’s stories

Chaired by Stuart Bunn, Murray–Darling Basin Authority


Nathan Hancock

Andrew Young
(PDF - 5 MB)

Tenille Chalmers

10:50 am Morning tea  
11:10 am

Summary and key messages from the breakout sessions

Presented by facilitators for each group

11:25 am

New models for regional innovation in the Murray–Darling

Mallee Regional Innovation Centre and the One Basin CRC

Rebecca Wells, CEO, Mallee Regional Innovation Centre

Dr Sharon Davis, State Government Lead, One Basin CRC

(PDF - 3 MB)
11:50 am

Connecting communities with Basin science

MDBA Regional Community Forums – what we’ve heard from communities in the past 12 months and where to next

Jack Knowles, General Manager Communications Engagement and Strategy, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

Rosalie Auricht, CEO Renmark Irrigation Trust and SA Community Forum member

(PDF - 500 KB)

12:05 pm

Round up and call to action

Jack Knowles, General Manager Communications Engagement and Strategy, Murray–Darling Basin Authority

12:30 pm Conference close  
12:35 pm Lunch  
1:15 pm

Bus tour to site 1 – Irymple: Food Next Door Community Farm and Water Bank

Showcasing the matching of under-utilised farmland with landless farmers and the growth of a community led Water Bank, to support small-scale regenerative farming.


Bus tour to site 2 – First Nations seedbank and native nursery: First Peoples of the Millewa Mallee Biocultural Resource Centre

Provides education and employment to the Indigenous community and also restocks native plants especially endangered species

3:30 pm Day 2 finishes  

Day 3 – Friday 3 June 2022

The optional self-guided tour (day 3) was cancelled due to poor weather conditions
Updated: 22 Jun 2022