MDBA gets permanent boss
Senior Agriculture Department official Phillip Glyde has been named as the new Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) chief executive.
Mr Glyde will take on the sometimes fraught task of leading the MDBA’s implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
A former head of the national commodity forecaster ABARES, Mr Glyde has been working as acting secretary of the agriculture department this year, where he has worked for the last decade.
Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce welcomed the appointment.
“He has a proven track record in financial management and public sector governance, as well as experience leading professional teams and setting strategic vision,” Minister Joyce said in a statement.
“Mr Glyde also brings a record of achievement particularly relevant to the MDBA, through his extensive experience as a senior public servant in natural resource management and economics and involvement in complex state and Commonwealth issues.”
The appointment comes two months after Dr Rhondda Dickson left the role of MDBA chief executive to move over to the Environment Department.
“I would like to take this opportunity to again thank Dr Dickson for taking the MDBA through a period of significant reform, including the establishment of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” Minister Joyce said.
National Irrigators' Council chief executive Tom Chesson welcomed Mr Glyde to the role too, but said he would have to hit the ground running.
The MDBA has been strongly criticised by irrigators about the management of the implementation of the Basin Plan, especially for a perceived lack of consultation with affected communities.
Mr Chesson says the new CEO will face a struggle to rebuild “what has become a fractured relationship between the MDBA and some Basin communities”.
“It is no secret, especially to anyone who has been following the current Senate inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, that there is a great deal of anger [about] the way that the MDBA has engaged with communities.
“Mr Glyde will need to change the culture within the Authority if it is to re-engage in a meaningful way with those communities who are feel they are not being listen to,” Mr Chesson said.
“There also is increasing disillusionment that governments and the MDBA are not delivering the Basin Plan in a way which maximises the environmental, social and economic outcomes.
“Mr Glyde will need to address this if he is to be successful in his new role.”