Water

Murray Darling Association welcomes Keelty report

By Country News

The Murray Darling Association, Australia’s peak body representing local government across the Murray-Darling Basin, has welcomed Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources Interim Inspector-General Mick Keelty's report, noting opportunities identified around leadership, communication and governance.

The report outlined findings from the inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin and provided five key recommendations to Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Basin Officials Committee.

Murray Darling Association chief executive officer Emma Bradbury said the report was concise, factual and provided governments with a clear directive.

“The findings reflect what we have heard from our members and communities for years,” she said.

“It calls out the need for unity, education and leadership to serve the national interest now and into the future.”

The report emphasised the state’s responsibilities, noting a more unified basin-wide position and plan of action for basin plan implementation was required across all levels of government to improve leadership in the basin.

The MDA said the short time frame given to Mr Keelty to prepare the report limited his ability to consult even more widely, but his findings had provided a sound basis for basin governments to take action.

Lower inflows across the basin, different rules in various jurisdictions and corruption were said to be undermining trust and confidence in the basin plan, and the MDA called on all basin ministers to act with urgency on the recommendations.

The MDA commended the report to government and urged the urgent implementation of all five recommendations.