Joint Media Release: Decentralisation of MDBA delivering for Griffith

13 March 2019

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud
Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, Bridget McKenzie
NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair


  • MDBA opens Griffith office, with 48 jobs shared between Griffith and Mildura
  • The move gives Griffith well-paid and ongoing jobs and economic activity
  • It gives the MDBA a better understanding of challenges and emerging threats

Griffith is set to become a winner from the decentralisation of the Murray Darling Basin Authority sharing 48 permanent jobs with another office in Mildura.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals' Leader Michael McCormack said Griffith deserved the government jobs and the boost it would bring the local economy.

"It just makes sense that people making decisions about the Murray Darling Basin should be based in the Murray Darling Basin," Mr McCormack said.

"That's why we are delivering 76 MDBA jobs closer to Basin communities, ensuring a fairer share of government jobs and the associated economic growth.

"Griffith is a major regional city in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and it is important to have direct input to the MDBA, which already has a regional office in Albury-Wodonga.

"There will be 48 new permanent positions shared across Griffith and Mildura, giving locals more well-paid and ongoing job prospects and boosting and diversifying the local economy.

"There will be a staged transition to ensure it is a smooth process, with a strong focus on continuous consultation with those affected, including staff and stakeholders."

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said ABS research showed Government jobs were a huge economic driver, creating more jobs.

"The people who manage the river system should live on the river," Minister Littleproud said.

"Country people deserve government jobs as much as city people do, and that's why I fought so hard to make this decentralisation happen.

"We're spreading more than 100 jobs across the Murray Darling Basin.

''In years to come people will highlight the MDBA as a great example of decentralisation."

Minister for Local Government and Decentralisation Senator Bridget McKenzie said the jobs and a new Griffith office would have positive economic spin-offs for the community.

"Decentralisation is continuing to deliver for regional Australia, injecting 76 more MDBA jobs closer to Basin communities which has wide benefits for the local economy and reinforces the Government's strong connection with regional communities and the land," Minister McKenzie said.

"Griffith is a vibrant regional capital with plenty to offer and is the perfect place to locate MDBA jobs in the southern part of the Murray Darling Basin.

"I know Griffith will welcome the people and families who will make a key contribution to the community and water policy for the future.

"We know that the flow-on effects of relocating agencies will drive greater economic and social growth for our regional towns, both direct and indirect, and also brings government services closer to the people and industries they serve.

"Relocating jobs to the regions enables young people to have long-term career prospects in their local communities and enjoy the benefits of a country lifestyle.

"Today's announcement builds on the more than 1200 jobs we've relocated out of Canberra and metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne to regional Australia since 2013."

NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair said this is a great announcement for our NSW communities, putting the decision makers among the people whose lives depend on our most precious resource.

"This goes beyond just jobs too, it allows the Authority to be on the ground and see the first hand the impact of every decision made," Minister Blair said.

"Most importantly, it means that for young people interested in water management and water policy, they don't need to go to the big smoke to pursue their passion, they can stay in the Basin, where the big decisions will now be made."

Fast Facts:

  • 103 MDBA positions will be located in regions - around one third of its total staff.
  • Currently there are 27 regional jobs with the MDBA, the decentralisation plan will see that grow by 76 additional jobs.