Kyabram Free Press

Murray Darling Associatio­n leadership program to boost basin plan

- By Myles Peterson

Building on a 77-year history, the Murray Darling Associatio­n is launching a new leadership program to find local talent and help influence the troubled Murraydarl­ing Basin Plan.

Founded in 1944, the associatio­n represents local government­s from across the basin, from central Queensland to South Australia and much of NSW and Victoria.

Lockdowns allowing, the MDA is launching its inaugural Basin Communitie­s Leadership Program in Rochester later this month. Former National Party leader Michael Mccormack described the program as important for finding the next generation of water leadership.

“We need those young people, and some not so young, to be able to stand up and to say what they need to say and have the courage of their conviction­s to make sure they understand the complex and complicate­d water resources, to clearly articulate what they mean in the national space, but for local outcomes,” Mr Mccormack said last year.

A spokespers­on for the program said it delivered a range of benefits to participan­ts, including a greater understand­ing of how the water rules operated.

“The MDA Learning Academy provides a range of carefully selected leadership modules, including a unique water literacy framework to create a bespoke learning experience for participan­ts,” the spokespers­on said.

“The leadership program will be delivered through a mixed method delivery model, including online modules through the MDA Learning Academy, a two-day ‘face-to-face’ workshop, and paid registrati­on to the MDA’S 78th National Conference in Albury next year.”

The program helps link northern and southern leaders and provides a greater understand­ing of issues unique to those regions, according to former participan­t John Scriven.

“It helped me get a more balanced understand­ing of the upper river network. Being a northern basin person, I also gained a fuller awareness of the southern parts of the basin,” he said.

“The networking was really good. It introduced me to a lot of great leaders.”

The reported $4800 per-person cost of the program is funded by the Commonweal­th Community Investment Package, according to the MDA spokespers­on, and is free for successful applicants.

The program will be held on September 20 and 21 at Rochester Racecourse Recreation Reserve ahead of a national conference to be held in Albury in 2022. Details are available at mda.asn.au

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