Advocating for growers and regional communities at MDBA Summit

Cotton Australia’s General Manager Michael Murray has joined more than 100 senior leaders for a 2-day summit in Sydney hosted by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). The summit was intended to be a forum for First Nations people, industry, environmental, science, and community leaders to share their diverse points of view on current and future management of the Basin, with a particular focus on the 2026 Plan Review. While it is very much at the start of the process, it was pleasing that there seemed to be a strong focus on a healthy basin and healthy communities, and on environmental outcomes, rather than hydrological targets.

In December, the federal government introduced the Restoring our Rivers legislation to set out how water is shared along the river system. The plan allows for more voluntary water buybacks and water-saving infrastructure projects. Representing the interest of cotton growers and regional communities, Mr Murray used the event to highlight the need to focus on actions that lead to genuine environmental outcomes and support investment in a wide range of complementary measures, as a very real alternative to additional water recovery.

Min Plibersek on the left, CEO of the MDBA Andrew McConville with some of the irrigated agricultural representatives attending the Forum
Minister Plibersek (far left) with Michael Murray, CEO of the MDBA Andrew McConville and some of the irrigated agriculture representatives at the Forum