Mildura is set to become home to the Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources, with one of the two offices being set up in the city.
Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said the new office was a significant step that would restore confidence in delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“I’ve always said the people who operate the river should live on the river – and so should the people who police it,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This will give the Inspector-General and his staff a real connection to the communities they serve.
“The Inspector-General and his support staff will engage with Basin communities about Plan implementation and compliance.
“Everyone needs to have confidence the Plan is working and the rules are being followed.”
Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster said the Inspector-Generals office would help to strengthen community confidence in the Basin Plan.
“I’m pleased the Inspector-General will have direct contact with people in the Mallee,” Dr Webster said. “Better still, staff will live in Mildura and will have a real understanding on how the plan impacts on the wider Sunraysia region.
“They’ll take their children to the same schools, join the same football clubs, share the same community as people whose livelihoods depend on water.”
“The new office will bring opportunity for additional professional jobs to be based in Mildura, so more people can return here after they finish university.”
The Interim Inspector-General will also have a presence in the north, with an office to be established in a northern Basin community. Both offices will create new economic opportunities in both regions.
The Interim-Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources and staff will provide independent assurance over Basin Plan implementation and ensure Australian Government and Basin State governments meet compliance responsibilities under the Water Act 2007.
The office of the Interim Inspector-General will refer any matters of alleged wrongdoing to the appropriate authorities, noting Basin states and territory governments have front-line responsibility for implementing and enforcing compliance in their areas.