Murray Darling Basin Commisson Images (copyright). Tala creek on Billa Downs near Euston NSW. Tala creek is the connection from the Murray River to Dry Lake and Lake Benanee. Murray Darling freshwater research Centre staff Prue McGuffie checks water for dissolved oxygen,Ph, Salinity and temperature. Arthur Mostead Photographer.

THE Murray–Darling Basin Authority is building its grassroots connections in Mildura, with 13 employees joining the regional office this year.

It is establishing new offices in Mildura, Murray Bridge and Griffith and has existing offices in Albury-Wodonga, Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Adelaide and Canberra.

MDBA Chief Executive, Phillip Glyde said the move was part of the agency’s commitment to develop and maintain strong regional links with communities.

“The Mildura region’s production of grapes, almonds and citrus relies on water – we know how important these industries are to Basin communities,” Mr Glyde said.

“We also understand how important our river is for tourism and recreation activities, which is vital to the economy and lifestyle here in Mildura. We want to work with the community to help create the best economic, social and environmental outcomes for everyone living and working in the area.

“With MDBA staff on the ground here in Mildura we have direct contact with people who have generations of knowledge on how the health of the rivers impacts farming, the environment and tourism.

“These connections and new relationships are making a difference in building a shared understanding of the water management issues and solutions in this part of the Basin.”

The MDBA’s Mildura Regional Manager, Di Mead, said the 13 staff who joined the local office were mostly Mildura residents, or had returned to Mildura. A few had moved to Mildura from Adelaide, Albury-Wodonga and Canberra.

“It’s fantastic that we attracted highly-skilled locals to join our team and to see new faces from Canberra and Adelaide make Mildura their new home,” Ms Mead said.

“Being able to provide new jobs for locals as well as attract professionals from across the country is a boost for the community. We have capacity to expand our team here in the Mildura office in the coming months.”

“Our goal for the next few months is to meet with community members and industry and community groups and get a better shared understanding of the water management issues for this region.”