Social and economic conditions in irrigation communities in the Murray-Darling Basin will be assessed by an independent panel.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said, “Farmers and rural communities across the Murray–Darling Basin are facing drought at the same time as the effects of Australia’s biggest ever water reform occur.

“It makes sense to set up an independent panel and find out exactly what’s happening across the whole Basin.

“There’s a lot of debate and conflicting opinions out there – let’s have an independent expert analysis of the facts.

“Let’s make sure communities and governments can have the right information available to build strong, diverse local economies for rural and regional Australia.

“This will allow governments to build the right strategies for the future.

“We need to check on how our communities are tracking and listen to their experiences and insights. It is critical that communities are consulted at every stage of this new research.

“A panel of experts with community connections will oversee the research and make sure the community is part of it. The research will help governments and communities, and also inform the MDBA’s 2020 evaluation of Basin Plan implementation.”

Information on the research and how to get involved can be found here.

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