Commonwealth Water Officers relocated outside on the MIA.

The federal government has shaken up its regional engagement regarding wetland and river protecting, relocating previously permanent officers based in the MIA to central metro hubs.

Six permanent local engagement officers have been appointed to work with communities, in an effort to protect rivers and wetlands across the Murray Darling Basin.

However, officers based in Leeton and Deniliquin will be based out of larger Riverina cities Wagga and Albury.

Three new officers will join three incumbents, ensuring good coverage across the Basin. Local engagement officers will now be based in Walgett, Tamworth, Wodonga and Wagga Wagga, in addition to Mildura and Berri.

However, despite officers moving away from the region, The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said people seeking to be involved in the decision-making around Commonwealth environmental water can still do so.

He said water users can be assured they will have access to local officers on the ground who are dedicated to ensuring local knowledge and experience is built into water use planning.

“We have recruited highly experienced people who come from all walks of life but share solid technical knowledge and good connections into Murray-Darling Basin communities,” Mr Papps said.

“The six officers will work individually, and together, using their complementary skills ...

“Maintaining dialogue with people throughout the Basin, so they are involved in planning and decision making, is an important part of the work of environmental water managers ...”

He said all Commonwealth Environmental Water Office staff are committed to creating opportunities for interested local people.