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Southern Basin community profiles

The 2017 Basin Plan Evaluation considered the environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes and whether these outcomes are in line with what was expected five years ago.

There are encouraging signs the Basin Plan is on track to deliver long-term outcomes. More than 8,000 GL of Commonwealth environment water has been delivered since 2008, and there have been positive ecological responses by birds, fish and vegetation. At a whole of Basin level, the changes in social and economic conditions are broadly consistent with the changes expected at this stage of the Basin Plan’s implementation.

While the effects of Basin Plan water recovery at the Basin or regional scale appear modest, feedback from stakeholders and community members suggests that the Basin scale analysis fails to detect the sometimes significant impacts which are being felt by smaller, irrigation dependent communities.

Through working with communities, industry and Basin governments, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has identified the indicators which best define how communities are changing over time, and has developed community profiles based on this information. More details about the indicators of social and economic conditions are available in the Guide: Understanding change in Basin communities.

The MDBA has undertaken further work to assess the effect of the Basin Plan on southern Basin communities. The approach used by the MDBA has been to assess how Basin Plan water recovery through purchase and investment in on- and off-farm infrastructure haves contributed to changes to the area of irrigated production and to employment.

The updated community profiles can be used by governments and Basin communities to better understand the scale and causes of recent changes, including those from the Basin Plan, and to develop strategies which might assist communities to be more resilient to future changes.

Profiles are provided for:

  • 40 irrigation-dependent communities
  • five communities with little or no irrigated agriculture
  • the centres of Deniliquin and Shepparton-Mooroopna.

There is no irrigated production or water recovery from Deniliquin and Shepparton-Mooroopna, but these centres have experienced the effect of Basin Plan water recovery in the surrounding areas.

The five communities with little or no agriculture have been included to provide a comparison with communities with a greater reliance on irrigated production. This comparison helps to understand other drivers of change (apart from water availability) that affect communities. 

The southern Basin community profiles complement similar profiles publish in 2016 for 21 communities in the northern Basin - read profiles for communities in the Northern Basin. Read an overview of the social and economic analysis used to inform the northern Basin community profiles.


Understanding change in Basin Communities

How to interpret the indicators of social and economic condition.

Profiles of communities in the Southern Basin (with water recovery)
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Profiles for the townships of Deniliquin and Shepparton–Mooroopna
Independent review of southern Basin community profiles