MDBA seeks to understand community impacts

The Murray Darling Basin Authority has appointed a specialist team to help it understand the likely impacts on local communities of proposals for the Basin Plan.

The team will be led by Dr Mark Fenton and includes accepted experts in community impact assessment across the Basin.

The team comprises:

The team combines extensive knowledge of water policy and reform across Australia with skills in helping community groups assess how these will apply to their community. Each member of the consultation team has a long history of engagement with local communities and brings a good understanding of the issues that are of priority concern. The core members of the team completed an earlier review of the possible social and economic impacts of the proposed basin plan.

The team is supported by an Advisory Panel of experts in the field who will provide a sounding board and external peer review of the approach proposed and the project findings. That panel includes:

The program will cover communities across the Murray Darling Basin. Members of the team will spend time in the regions talking to people to better understand the likely impact of the MDBA's proposed Basin Plan at the local scale. The Plan makes proposals to establish sustainable diversion limits for the level of water that may be diverted from the Basin's rivers and groundwater resources.

The team wants to understand the local impacts at the community scale:

The discussions in the regions will focus at the local scale to pinpoint which communities will be most affected by the proposed Basin Plan, and to understand how and why.

The round of meetings in communities across the Basin will take place over January and February so that the Board has an informed response that it can feed into the Parliamentary Inquiry and development of the Draft Basin Plan.

Members of the team are excited to be part of this critical process to help make sure that the voices of local communities are heard as decisions are taken on the future use of our precious water resources across the Basin.

For further inquiries please contact: mdb-impact@rmcg.com.au.

15 December 2010

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