As the South Australian Royal Commission handed down its findings last week, more than 55 community leaders from 28 councils across all four states, of the Murray Darling Basin met for the 5th annual Murray Darling Association Strategic Planning workshop.
The three-day event saw a gathering of mayors, councillors and senior executives of councils from Albury to Adelaide, Menindee to the Murray Mouth, as far afield as Balonne, Cobar, Narromine and more.
Councils discussed a range of issues, highlighting the importance of state and federal governments and agencies engaging better with communities through their local representatives; the imperatives of having local government involved in the assessment and delivery of SDL projects; and the need for better resourcing.
“I found the discussions tremendously valuable,” Cr Tim Elstone, Wentworth Shire Council said. “While there are many issues across the Basin, it was fantastic to see every region willing to consider all views.”
City of Mitcham Mayor Dr Heather Holmes-Ross added “I was proud to represent region 7 (metro Adelaide) along with Cr Andrew Tilley. It was an excellent workshop - hard work but rewarding, resulting in strategies that will allow us to represent the interests of all of our communities as we navigate the implementation of the MD Plan.”
National President Cr David Thurley concluded “The robust discussions and willingness to hear and to learn once again highlights the strength of local government dealing with complex issues.”