While irrigation, water and all the lingo coming with it often fill headlines and news broadcasts in the wider MIA, there remains a desire to better understand the basics around the Basin Plan and what it all means for irrigators and communities.
A key suggestion from irrigators and residents is access to easy-to-understand information on water and the Murray Darling Basin Association’s (MDBA) Basin Plan.
The organisation’s recent appointment of Elizabeth Stott to the MDBA’s books aims to bridge the gap between MIA residents and decision makers in Canberra.
The Whitton local’s part-time role as the Regional Engagement Officer (REO) sees her liaise with the community, while running the family farm growing cotton and winter cereals.
She says the MDBA wants to bring the conversations she’s having with irrigators to the community to provide a better understanding of the water issues – without the jargon.
“It’s all about opening up communication between the MDBA and communities, allowing us to share information and I am already seeing this in action,” Ms Stott said.
“The area I cover largely encompasses the Murrumbidgee and Coleambally Irrigation Areas, although I have also met with stakeholders from Hillston, Carrathool and Goolgowi.”
Ms Stott’s roles with Murrumbidgee Irrigation and the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia have helped her understand the importance of open communication with government.
“That is exactly what my role is about, and it is important to highlight that this is a two-way street,” Ms Stott said.
“Communities can help the MDBA understand their key issues and concerns, while the MDBA can help communities by sharing information on things like Basin Plan implementation.”
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