A three-day meeting of local government leaders from across the Murray Darling Basin last week saw an historic demonstration of unity and commitment to ensuring local government is directly involved in the Basin Plan decisions that impact our local communities.
The event, organised by the Murray Darling Association (MDA) Australia’s peak body for local government in the Murray-Darling Basin saw Mayors, councillors and senior executives of councils from across the Basin meet in Echuca/Moama.
For the first time in the 75-year history of the MDA, all 12 regions were represented, participating in the development of its strategic plan. In all over 50 delegates representing 28 councils from across the Basin attended the event, open to the regional chairs and committees of the MDA.
The annual MDA strategic planning workshop is now in its 5th year and is an important event on the Murray-Darling Basin local government planning calendar.
“Record attendance shows that local government is committed to working together, and with state and federal governments now more than ever before get the best for our local communities.” CEO Emma Bradbury said. “Councils have again affirmed their support for the Basin Plan, recognising also that while the Plan is not perfect, it will unity and leadership to ensure a healthy, viable Murray-Darling Basin for this and future generations.”
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.
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, and emphasises the need for local government to be involved from the outset.”
Back Row (L-R) Cr Andrew Tilley - City of Mitcham; Mayor Craig Davies - Narromine Shire Council; Pete George - M&S Group Treasurer; Mayor Paul Maytom - Leeton Shire Council; Cr Peter Mansfield - Moira Shire Council; Cr Peter Hunter - Renmark Paringa Council; Mayor Denis Clark - Northern Areas Council.
Front Row (L-R) Emma Bradbury CEO ; Heather Barclay – Murray Bridge Council; Cr David Thurley (Chairman) - Albury City Council; Cr John Campbell - Gunnedah Shire Council; Cr Jane MacAllister - Wentworth Shire Council. Absent: Mayor Richard Marsh - Balonne Shire Council.