Former Chief of the Defence Force, Sir Angus Houston is the right person to lead the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) during the final stages of Basin Plan implementation according to NSW Nationals Senator and former irrigation consultant, Senator Perin Davey.
Senator Davey said it was important that the new Chair of the MDBA had leadership and governance experience as well as negotiation skills at this critical time.
“We are at the stage in the process where all states need to work together and getting consensus is crucial, the role of Chair of the MDBA will be vital to achieving outcomes,” Senator Davey said.
“The MDBA also has a key role to play in responding to the multiple reports that have been undertaken, including the recent ACCC Interim Report into the Water Market and the yet to be released Social and Economic Report.
“There is a lot of work to be done and we need someone who can look at the big picture to see how all the layers interact and workshop potential impacts of decisions.”
Senator Davey said Sir Houston’s experience leading the three arms of the Australian Defence Force means he understands how to work across interest groups.
“It is crucial to not have a political appointment to this role, we need someone who is beyond politics and Sir Houston has the respect of all sides.
“He has been appointed to senior leadership roles by former Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard as well as taking on several private board positions. He is well rounded and will hopefully bring a fresh approach to the MDBA.
“Many Basin communities feel that the MDBA is too bureaucratic and disconnected. Hopefully Sir Houston will be able to improve the community connection and show a cultural shift.
“I look forward to Sir Houston getting out and about in the Basin to meet with stakeholders as soon as COVID restrictions will allow,” Senator Davey said.