2021 National Conference & AGM

Wentworth Civic Centre (formerly Wentworth Services Club)
Cnr Darling Street & Silver City Highway
Wentworth, NSW(AUS) 2648

Following the adversity of droughts, fires and Covid-19 we know that the towns, regions and countries to emerge quickest and strongest are those with innovative, connected local leadership.

It’s no surprise then that local government and the communities of the Murray Darling Basin are well placed to adapt and forge ahead in 2021 - and beyond. Basin councils have, after all, spent years building connections across catchments and communities.

With our rivers, our borders and even our attitudes increasingly fragmented, clever councils recognise the importance of innovation to restore and build connectivity.

Connectivity of communities is essential to our people. In the same way, a healthy river system must have connectivity of flows. There is no future on a dry system.

The MDA’s 77th National Conference & AGM is your opportunity to be part of the solution – to join the conversation, to inform future policy, and to engage with the innovators, scientists, educators and leaders of our time.

Join us in Wentworth, where the mighty rivers connect; where local, technical and political leaders will come together to tackle the big issues of the Basin and forge a future of connected councils and catchments.




For more photos from the Conference visit our flickr account





The Darling / Baaka River is the major tributary to the Murray-Darling River system – the largest system on the Australian continent. French contemporary artist JR's multifaceted world-exclusive project for NGV Triennial, Homily to Country, draws into focus the complex issues of this river system as a consequence of intensive irrigation, climate change and drought.




Name  Title Presentation Time on Video
Mayor Susan Nichols Mayor, Wentworth Shire Council Welcome to Wentworth  
Cr David Thurley OAM National President, Murray Darling Association Welcome to Wentworth  
The Hon. Sussan Ley, MP Minister for the Environment, Member for Farrer Opening address  
Ken Ross  General Manager, Wentworth Shire Council Wentworth Shire Council: Our Plans and Projects – The Bold Vision  
Jane Doolan Commissioner, Productivity Commission Water Reform – The National Perspective 7:55
Matthew Coulton  General Manager, Water Sector Program, BOM BOM – Climate and water update Cool tools to access water information 38:40
The Petaurus Education Group Student Presentation Student Presentation 1:06:05
Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM  Commissioner of Resilience NSW Community, Connection and Meeting the Challenge of Change 2:27:50
Scott Phillips CEO, LG NSW Local Leadership – a National Priority: The role of local government in the national decision-making framework Facilitated by Stephen Blackadder CEO Blackadder Associates 2:54:30
Greg Hallam  CEO, LGAQ
Cr David Clark President, Municipal Association of Victoria
Adrian Beresford-Wylie CEO, ALGA
Claire Miller  CEO, NSW Irrigators Council Breaking the Murray-Darling Basin Plan SDLAM impasse – a proposal 3:38:40
Rod Hillman  CEO, Ecotourism Australia The Visitor Economy – Connecting Basin Communities (or Tourism – The Basin Plan’s Silent Partner) 4:34:40
Tony Sharley Owner, River Murray Walk Strengthening the visitor economy - helping people discover the magic of the Murray River 4:48:25
Grant Rigney  Ngarrindjeri. Chair, Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) The First Basin Plan 5:06:05
Jane Coram Director, Land and Water Business Unit, CSIRO Connecting Science with Communities 5:34:30
Francis Chiew Science leader, CSIRO Climate change, communities and water resources adaptation 5:36:20
David Post  Research scientist, CSIRO Water and environment research in the Murray-Darling Basin 5:51:05
Ewan McEoin  Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture at the NGV The National Gallery of Victoria presents Homily to Country 2020 by French Artist JR. Dinner





Name Title Presentation Time on Video
The Hon. Melinda Pavey, MP Minister for Water, Property and Housing NSW Opening address 25:30
Jim Bentley CEO, NSW Water Sector 46:50
Professor Mike Stewardson Interim CEO, One Basin CRC A new era in collaboration, R&D and adoption 52:35
Tim Fisher Alluvium Group Informing connections between catchments and communities – a multi-disciplinary approach 1:19:00
Tony Weber Alluvium Group 1:26:12
Hilton Taylor A/Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder Panel Session: What are our options: a healthy, connected Barka or major social change in the Far West? Implications for governments and communities. Facilitated by Professor Nick Bond Director of the Centre for Freshwater Ecosystems Theme lead, Resilient environments and communities, La Trobe University 2:26:45
Jason Wilson Gomeroi and Youalaroi Murri
Celine Steinfeld Director, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
Rachel Strachan Menindee
Claire Miller NSW Irrigators Council
Adrian Langdon Executive Manager System Operations
Brendan McRandle CEO, National Water Grid Authority Delivering the National Water Grid 3:29:05
Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d) Chair, MDBA Climate Change and the Murray Darling Basin Plan 4:55:50
Andrew Reynolds Executive Directror of River Management, MDBA 5:15:30
Rosalie Auricht General Manager, Renmark Irrigation Trust Irrigation and Great Water Stewardship 5:33:30
Emma Bradbury CEO, Murray DArling Association Basin Communities Leadership Program: “If there’s one thing the Basin needs as much as rain, it’s leadership” 6:01:20
The Hon. Troy Grant Interim Inspector-General of Water Compliance (IIGWC) Closing address 6:22:50
The Hon. Keith Pitt, MP  Minister Resources, Water and Northern Australia Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment Opening remarks for the Murray Darling Association 77th Annual General Meeting 7:22:00






Event Supported by: