Historic Indigenous appointment for the MDBA board

19 September 2019
  • An Indigenous member will be appointed to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority 
  • Indigenous involvement in water management in the Basin will be increased 

Murray-Darling Aboriginal communities will have more say on how the river system is run with a new dedicated Indigenous position on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority board.

The Water Amendment (Indigenous Authority Member) Bill 2019 which establishes an Indigenous member position on the board passed in parliament today. 

Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said the new role shows the Coalition’s commitment to making sure all Basin communities had a voice.

“This is a historic move to make an Aboriginal position a legislated, permanent role on the MDBA Board,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Aboriginal communities will now have direct input into the management of Basin water resources.

“This builds on our record, increasing first nations’ engagement in managing the Murray-Darling Basin

“Last year we agreed to set up a $40 million fund for Aboriginal communities to invest in water for cultural and economic uses.

“The Murray-Darling Basin will benefit from indigenous expertise and stewardship within the MDBA as it continues its vital work of implementing the Basin Plan. 

“I want to see Aboriginal Basin communities involved every step of the way.” 

Fast Facts:

  • The new Indigenous member position will take the Authority board from six to seven members. 
  • Board members have a broad range of backgrounds and expertise, including, economics, environment, natural resource management and agriculture. 
  • Members are nominated and considered by the Federal and Basin state water ministers. 
  • The appointee will bring a high level of expertise on Indigenous water use.