Decentralisation of the Murray Darling Basin Authority is being “actively considered” by the cabinet, according to federal agriculture minister David Littleproud.
Griffith Business Chamber president Pat Pittavino has added the chamber’s voice to those calling for the MDBA to be moved out of Canberra and into Griffith.
The NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair recently called on the Commonwealth to decentralise the MDBA, saying “a plan like this shouldn’t be implemented from a high-rise building but from within a community directly affected by its decisions”.
Mr Pittavino said it was an excellent opportunity for Griffith to “put its hand up” and reap the multitude of benefits a move like this would bring.
He says not only would the Authority get the chance to see first-hand the impacts and benefits of water on the economy, it would make Griffith a leader on a national and international stage for irrigation practices.
“It is also a chance for us to bring government authorities and white collar professionals to Griffith - businesses, education, and medical services in the town are set to benefit as well,” Mr Pittavino said.
Agreeing decentalisation was a “good idea,” Rice Growers Association (RGA) president Jeremy Morton said the association were calling for decentralisation back in 2016, yet says moving the full headquarters to any one town would be ultimately “detrimental”.
Mr Morton says originally the RGA called for the River Operation component to be moved to the MIA, however doesn’t see the need for the whole organisation to pull up roots.
“While it sounds attractive, sometimes a lot of the dealings the MBDA has to have are not just with people living out in the basin areas, but with other government bodies and operations,” Mr Morton said.
“Certainly moving aspects and different components to areas impacted by the plan, like they have done in places like Goondiwindi, would be beneficial.”.
When asked by The Area News if the move was in the works, Mr Littleproud said in a statement:
“Decisions around decentralisation are a matter for cabinet and are being actively considered.”
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