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  • Shelley Scoullar

Preliminary program has high hopes

A preliminary program for a two day conference on the future of the Murray Darling Basin has been released and promises to deliver constructive debate.


A diverse range of speakers and experts from their field will gather at De Bortoli’s Tuileries Complex in Rutherglen in late February to discuss issues surrounding the Murray Darling Basin Plan.


The conference, which has been developed with the support of Federation University, aims to generate a national discussion through an examination of policies, environmental studies, communities and histories of the Murray Darling and its river systems.


De Bortoli owner Darren De Bortoli, who has dedicated a considerable amount of time to understanding the history of the end of system, said the event aims to examine the historical perspectives of the Murray Darling Basin that align with the ecological and hydrological views.


“We have a great line up of speakers for the two days, which will feature people who are experts in their field; including the environment, Basin policy, regional studies, historians and stakeholders.


“Through their experiences and knowledge the conference will offer perspectives and aim to educate participants about what has happened on the Murray-Darling system in the past 170 years,” Mr De Bortoli said.


The conference will run over February 24 and 25, with an optional field trip planned for February 26 and planning is underway for the conference to be live streamed.


Mr De Bortoli said the conference will examine the history of the river systems, including regional histories of south-eastern Australia.


“There is over 100 years of governance and other changes; it is not just recent phenomenon which has led to the crisis, variability and degradation which we are currently seeing.


“The role of communities and regional development in long-term socio-ecological strategies for Murray Darling Basin will also be forefront of the conference debate and discussion.


“The best people to put strategies in place for the long term benefit of the entire system are those from regional communities who live and manage it every day. They are vital for securing positive outcomes,” he said.


While the final program and numbers will depend on how COVID guidelines and capacities unfold in the new year, those wishing to attend are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment. To register or enquire email:

k.reeves@federation.edu.au by February 16.


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