Familiar face appointed to MDBA chair

South Australian stakeholders will welcome the appointment of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Neil Andrew AO, as the new chair of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said she was delighted with the appointment of a Riverlander to the position.

"Born and bred in the Riverland, Neil is a fellow irrigator who understands the River Murray and a farmer who knows what farmers go through," Senator Ruston said.

"As the Member for Wakefield for more than 20 years, Neil represented the many River Murray irrigators and communities in the electorate with distinction.

"His appointment as chair of the MDBA comes at a critical time for the Authority as it works to fully implement the Basin Plan over the next few years. This will be an enormous task, and I’m confident that Neil will be up to the challenge.

"Most importantly, Neil understands the need for balance in water reform – a sustainable river system, sustainable irrigation industries and sustainable communities.

"The Abbott Government also understands the need for a balanced approach, which is why we’ve capped buybacks at 1500 GL/year and prioritised infrastructure investment. This not only returns water to the environment but helps to underpin the long term future of our irrigation industries and river communities."

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