New MDBA members appointed

By Country News

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has announced two more appointments, with both individuals to act as part-time members.

Joanna Hewitt and Professor Stuart Bunn have been appointed and will replace outgoing authority members Professor Barry Hart and Diana Davidson.

Ms Hewitt was a commissioner of the former Murray-Darling Basin Commission, whose impressive achievements and experience span water policy, foreign policy, trade, agriculture and resource economics.

She has served as an adviser to the World Bank on water policy, on a United Nations expert panel on food security, as well as holding a senior role in the OECD Secretariat.

Prof Bunn is the director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University, with extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies on water management issues, and has served as an Australian National Water Commissioner.

His research focuses on the ecology of river and wetland systems, particularly the science to underpin river management.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority chair Neil Andrew welcomed the news.

‘‘Theirs has been an extraordinary contribution spanning over nine years since the earliest days of the MDBA and basin plan,’’ he said.

‘‘Difficult and sometimes controversial decisions have been made in that time, and their enthusiasm for effective water reform has never wavered.’’

Federal Water Minister David Littleproud welcomed the appointments and said they came at a ‘‘very important time’’ for the implementation of the basin plan.