Mildura is set to become home to the Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources, with one of the two offices being set up in the city.
Federal Water Resources Minister David Littleproud said the new office was a significant step that would restore confidence in delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“I’ve always said the people who operate the river should live on the river — and so should the people who police it,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This will give the inspector-general and his staff a real connection to the communities they serve.
“The inspector-general and his support staff will engage with basin communities about plan implementation and compliance.
“Everyone needs to have confidence the plan is working and the rules are being followed.”
Federal Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Minister Mark Coulton said it made perfect sense for an office of the inspector-general to be established in Mildura.
“Mildura has the added benefit of having Victoria’s largest regional airport, which provides easy connectivity to our capital cities for families and businesses,” Mr Coulton said.
“Regional centres are a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family and I'd like to see more people moving out of the capital cities and exploring what communities such as those here in the Sunraysia region have to offer.”
Federal Member for Mallee Anne Webster said the inspector-general's office would help to strengthen community confidence in the basin plan.
“I’m pleased the inspector-general will have direct contact with people in the Mallee,” Dr Webster said.
“Better still, his staff will live in Mildura and will have a real understanding on how the plan impacts on the wider Sunraysia region.
“They’ll take their children to the same schools, join the same football clubs share the same community as people whose livelihoods depend on water.
“This will also bring more professional jobs into Mildura, so more people can return here after they finish university.”
The inspector-general will provide independent assurance of basin plan implementation and make sure basin governments meet their responsibilities under the Water Act.
The inspector-general's office will refer any matters of alleged wrongdoing to the statutory state and territory authorities, who are responsible for implementing and enforcing compliance in their areas.