Griffith is set to be the new base for almost 30 new positions of Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) as part of a decentralisation move made by the government.
The announcement was made on the grounds of the Griffith City Council chambers by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair alongside Member for Murray Austin Evans and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley.
Despite the city's past of being vocally active in speaking out against the MDBA, Mr Blair said the doesn't foresee any "teething issues" in the move here for staff, the process which he expects to happen effective immediately.
“Griffith is a prime example of what a community can do when it has access to productive water and how producers and industry can work together to adapt to the changing nature of water use," Mr Blair said.
He says this is a clear example of the Liberal National government listening and catering to regional communities, unlike "the Labor threat" which would see the current cap of the water buyback scheme raised.
“I thank the Commonwealth Government and Minister Littleproud for responding to the calls from Minister Neville and me, to decentralise the MDBA to within Basin communities," Mr Blair said.
Coming from all different levels of the Authority in Canberra, the move to decentralise is touted to be of great benefit of both the area's irrigators and the authority, with Mr McCormack reiterating that more information can be gleaned from chats in social situations rather than formal forums.
Having staff living in towns directly impacted by water based decisions has the added benefit of them witnessing first hand how the community is affected.
This announcement couples with others in Griffith this month leading up to the state election, including a new TAFE Service Centre based in Griffith, which combined with the Agriculture Hub will bring around 70 new jobs to the town combined with 30 staff with the possibility of their families as well.
Concerns over housing supply were brushed off by the minister, saying talking about that issue now was "looking for negatives".
Yet Mayor John Dal Broi said things were happening with housing lots currently being opened up, and by the time the TAFE and MDBA positions were established in the city arrangements should be available.
Mr Evans welcomed the move, saying it was a huge win for the people of the Riverina who have been calling for it for since the beginning of the plan.
“At least 30 new jobs will be based here in Griffith, as well as 20 in Mildura, providing a boost to our economy but also having critical expertise on the ground where it should be," Mr Evans said.
“No home is better than Griffith."
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