The announcement by Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive Phillip Glyde that the agency will investigate opportunities to decentralise is welcome news.
I agree with the Minister for Agriculture the Hon Barnaby Joyce who said the ability of the MDBA to successfully deliver its functions is underpinned by its ability to engage with Basin communities and understand local perspectives on complex water management issues.
Along with Minister Joyce I welcome Mr Glyde’s announcement that key positions will be relocated to regional Basin communities and I look forward to further discussions and the opportunity to promote the electorate of Parkes, home to a large portion of the Basin, as a future base for some of its agencies.
The Authority’s key purpose of operating the River Murray, implementing the Basin Plan in cooperation with the states and monitoring and reviewing progress could all be effectively carried out by regional offices in communities that are heavily impacted by water policy.
During Mr Glyde’s time as chief executive of the Authority, he has continually recognised opportunities for the organisation to perform better through improved local engagement.
Recent community consultations in the northern Basin have highlighted the substantial knowledge and experience locals can bring to the table to help improve policy outcomes.
Localism and adaptive management in Basin Plan implementation have long been promised – it is now time to deliver.
The decentralisation of government agencies can bring better policy outcomes and boost jobs and economic growth in regional areas.
I join Minister Joyce in welcoming the strategic approach being taken by Mr Glyde and I look forward to working with him over the coming months to develop a clear plan for the future of the Authority.
This week I join with the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt in encouraging everyone to be inspired by science.
I share his view that science is essential to our future jobs, our future prosperity and our future quality of life and this message is particularly important during National Science Week which is being held throughout Australia from 13-21 August.
National Science Week is an opportunity for Australians from all walks of life to meet scientists, discuss the hot topics, participate in science and celebrate its discoveries.
First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals and last year saw a staggering 1.3 million people participate in over 1,500 events and activities.
In 2016, National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia—from astronomy at Uluru to a science film night in the Antarctic—with everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.
Ambassadors for 2016 are Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple; and M*A*S*H actor and science advocate Alan Alda.
Science Week activities in the Parkes electorate will include Brain Break morning teas with scrumptious morsels of science goodness to celebrate science achievement and endeavour at Bourke-Walgett School of Distance Education (Bourke Campus), Wee Waa High School, Moree Secondary College, and Orana Heights Public School.
In Dubbo the Western Plains Regional Council will host the 2016 Dubbo Sustainable City Expo Science Festival to be held on Saturday 27 August 2016.
The 11th annual Expo Science Festival aims to provide information to the Dubbo and Wellington communities about how to live and work more sustainably; promote the wonders of science; and highlight how science can help to achieve a sustainable future.
Storyteller Larry Brandy will host a display which will prompt those attending the Expo to discover how Aboriginal people used their knowledge of the environment to hunt and find food.
Also in Dubbo at the Western Plains Cultural Centre on August 18th at 1pm a Lunch Box talk titled Love, Sex and Robots: When the robot says “no”, will speculate upon the future of our personal interactions with robots.
Event details can be found at: www.scienceweek.net.au.