Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean and the new chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Craig Knowles, have met with 11 Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees from the Murray-Darling Basin.


The meeting with Murray-Darling Basin RDA committees was held at Parliament House Canberra and was an opportunity to follow-up on previous meetings held in the regions in 2010.


Mr Crean and Water Minister Tony Burke consulted extensively with communities in the Murray-Darling Basin last year following the release of the Guide to the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan in October.


"This was a meeting of RDA committees in the Murray-Darling Basin and was a chance to report on consultations occurring in the regions," Mr Crean said.


"In particular, this meeting was an opportunity to identify common issues and to listen to the ideas being identified that will support economic diversification and drive greater efficiency in water usage.


"The meeting also welcomed the decision to remedy the taxation issue associated with water infrastructure projects as announced by the Federal Government last Friday.


"The meeting heard that the tax changes would help facilitate the roll-out of water infrastructure and provide a boost for some Murray-Darling communities.


"The Federal Government has made a major investment in water infrastructure programs that local communities could access to help them bridge the gap as they make the transition during the reform phase of the Murray-Darling Basin.


"The Government is committed to assisting local communities in the Murray Darling and has formed a Taskforce to consider the socio-economic impact of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan," Mr Crean said.


Mr Crean has requested each committee submit proposals that support economic diversity and deliver input to the Government over the human impact of increasing river flows in the Murray-Darling Basin by the end of next month and proposals that support economic diversity.