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Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin

Across the Basin, people have been dealing with issues such as drought, demographic change, commodity price changes and the biggest water reform in Australia's history.

The Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin was commissioned in mid-2019 by the then Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, The Hon David Littleproud MP. The assessment panel was independent to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), reporting directly to the Minister.

The final report was released by Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, The Hon Keith Pitt MP, on 4 September 2020.

The assessment panel included Chair Robbie Sefton, Andrew Kassebaum, David McKenzie, Dr Deborah Peterson, Michelle Ramsay, Bruce Simpson and Rene Woods, who met with 750 people in communities, received more than 70 submissions to the draft report and commissioned extensive social and economic research.

The review highlighted there are underlying issues greater than water reform and a whole-of-government response is needed to address changes in population, industry and technology across the Basin.

Of the report's 22 recommendations, 3 relate to the MDBA's work in engagement, non-water related Basin Plan accounting, and socio-economic evaluation. You can read the MDBA's media release detailing our response to the report here.

More information on the panel's work, reports and background documents are available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

To access additional supporting documents contact engagement@mdba.gov.au.

Downloads

Panel reports
Final report: Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin
Summary of report: Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin
Technical summary: Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin
Media release on release of final report – September 2020
Independent assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin draft report – February 2020
Social and Economic Conditions in Murray-Darling Basin Communities – December 2019
Updated: 20 Oct 2021  •   Independent reports