LEETON mayor Paul Maytom wants all of the agencies involved with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to find a way to effectively communicate with the community.
Councillor Maytom said there was so much information out there on the plan, but it was also complex, meaning there are some mixed messages as a result.
“With so many different agencies and stakeholders there is a need to have all of the information accessible and put out to the community and those affected,” he said.
Councillor Maytom said it was important for irrigators and other affected parties to also educate themselves via the many online materials available.
The call for more transparency and effective means of getting the word out has also come from the National Irrigators Council.
Chief executiveofficer Tom Chessoncalled on Minister for Agriculture and Water Barnaby Joyceto ensure “localism”would be hard-wiredinto the planwith the decentralisation of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).
“To date neither ‘localism’ nor ‘adaptive management’ have played a central role with the MDBA considered by many to be a remote ‘Canberra knows best’ organisation which has a poor reputation for meaningful consultation with impacted communities.,” he said.
“If the Basin Plan is to have ‘localism’ hardwired into its DNA then it needs to be truly local.”
Cr Maytom agreed, but said there were already avenues, including in Leeton for feedback to be given directly to the authority.
“We have a local engagement officer here that works on the ground and out in the field to find out what is going on, what the issues are,” he said.
“All of that research and consultation is then channelled back through to the appropriate person at the MDBA.
“It’s important to understand that there are so many complexities surrounding the plan.I would certainly say there are many areas that need to be worked on to deliver better results for our farmers and community.”
Cr Maytom said there needed to be more work done to ensure the right outcome would be achieved.
“We know there is a process in place, but we have to work together,” he said.
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