The Murray Darling Basin Authority will appoint seven regional engagement officers to permanent part-time positions in an extension of a pilot program that began in 2016.
Regional engagement officers are go-betweens the MDBA and the local community, explaining the Basin Plan reform process to local communities and bringing their concerns back to the Commonwealth agency.
The regional engagement officers currently working under the MDBA’s pilot program are based in Leeton in NSW, Murray Bridge in S.A, Dirranbandi in Qld as well as Shepparton and the Upper Murray in Victoria.
The new positions will be spread across the Basin, with recruits working in: S.A lower Murray, Goulburn Murray, the Murrumbidgee , Lower Darling–Sunraysia region, Mid-Murray, Barwon–Darling and Lower Balonne.
MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde said the recruitment process would determine the exact location and number of engagement offiers.
“We are recruiting for seven regional engagement officers who will work between two days and four days a week, depending on the region.
“Over time we may review locations or add more, based on need,” Mr Glyde said.
The new recruits are expected to be in place by the middle of the year.
“Our hope is to have the right people in these positions by the new financial year,” Mr Glyde said.
“Once we have Regional Engagement Officers identified we will be looking to partner with local organisations to host them in communities.”
The Commonwealth Environment Water Holder has a similar set-up, with six local engagement officers across the Basin located at Tamworth and Wagga Wagga and Walgett in NSW, Berri in S.A, Wodonga and Mildura in Victoria.