New MDBA office for Goondiwindi

Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud.
Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority will set up a new office in Goondiwindi by October.

It will be the base for eight regional engagement officers to be employed across the basin, in a government push to decentralise services.

The office means more government jobs in a rural area according to Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud with five positions offered initially.

“It just makes sense to put MDBA staff in basin towns,” he said in a media statement.

“They will have a personal understanding of why their work is so important.

“Those staff will live alongside the people affected by the basin plan, they’ll see them in the local pub, when they drop their kids at school or when they go to the local show.”

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The move was welcomed by Border Rivers Food and Fibre executive officer Tim Napier.

“It’s very positive it’s going to facilitate the complementary measures which came about as a result of the Northern Basin Review,” he said. “Having staff here will also drive environmental outcomes.

“Up until now, we have been very critical of the process because it’s been more about chasing a number than real outcomes.”

Mr Littleproud claimed the office would help build confidence in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“There will also be eight permanent regional engagement officers based in towns like Narrabri, Bourke, Avenel, Mildura and Murray Bridge.

“The Goondiwindi office is will be well placed to deliver the Northern Basin Review and to make sure we get it right. I take my hat off to the MDBA for this decision and making sure their employees understand of what irrigators and communities in the northern basin need.”