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Conference reflects on Murray-Darling

Murray-Darling Basin communities are set to benefit from River Reflections, a new water conference, with the first annual event being hosted by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority this 9-10 June in Griffith, New South Wales.

Held following National Reconciliation Week, MDBA Basin Strategy and Knowledge Executive Director Vicki Woodburn said the conference is designed to provide an opportunity for connections between the diverse Basin communities of the Basin, including industry, agriculture, First Nations peoples and tourism.

“The program has been developed in collaboration with community and industry leaders — an approach that enables focus themes to cover areas of most interest as well as highlight perspectives from the host region," Woodburn said.

"The program includes a broad line-up of speakers sharing information about river and ecosystem health, First Nations Peoples' interests and contributions to water management, water use innovation, and climate challenges, among other topics.”

Woodburn said the aim of the conference is to offer an opportunity for community members to participate in discussions regarding their involvement in the basin.

"It's not just about listening — there are plenty of opportunities for lively interactions and discussions as well,” she said.

"And while this first conference is being hosted in Griffith, the focus is both local and basin-wide, and open to anyone from anywhere to attend either in person or online.

"This is the first annual conference. Each year a different region in the basin will host the event.”

Set to provide insights on farming systems adaptation at River Reflections, Southern Growers Chairman Geoff McLeod he is looking forward to the opportunity to share the work he’s been involved in with the broader community.

"Sharing information is an important way our farming community can gain confidence to adopt different approaches to improve irrigated farming. I welcome the opportunity to talk about our experiences, challenges and the solutions we are working towards," he said.

Ozfish Unlimited Program Manager Braeden Lampard will be presenting on the company’s plans and projections for supporting ongoing recreational fishing in the basin over the next five years, and take part in discussions with conference participants.

"It's important to keep your eyes on what's to come, and I look forward to sharing our plans with others and perhaps hearing other ideas and perspectives," Lampard said.

The conference includes keynote addresses from Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt MP and Minister for the Environment and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley MP, and a tour to visit local cod and citrus farms to see some of the successful businesses operating in Griffith first-hand.

The first day will be streamed live to encourage basin-wide participation. Check out the conference program — registration closes 21 May 2021.