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Leadership courses securing Murray-Darling Basin's future.

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DAFF05/197WT - 23 June 2005

Leadership courses securing Murray-Darling Basin's future

Developing community leaders with a clear vision for the Murray-Darling Basin's future was vital to ensure the region has a secure long-term future, Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said today of the Murray Darling Basin Leadership course, being held in Sutton, NSW.

Mr Truss, who is also the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council's chairman, said millions of people relied on the Murray-Darling Basin to support their livelihoods and lifestyle, but its health was always under threat.

Mr Truss thanked the 16 participants in the third Murray-Darling Basin Leadership course for their commitment to making a difference to sustainable natural resource management in the Basin.

The leadership program, which is an initiative of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council Community Advisory Committee, is being delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Mr Truss said it was critically important to have leaders prepared to work to secure the long-term future of the Basin's valuable production assets and environmental values for the benefit of its communities.

"The program's participants represent a broad cross-section of the Basin's community and business life.

"They are using the program to develop their understanding and skills to help tackle the key natural resource management issues that local communities and industries face.

"As a group, they have the potential to form a support network that will strive to achieve the changes needed for the Basin's sustainable resource management."

Mr Truss said the leadership program was an important contribution to training and equipping future leaders to take up the Basin's environmental, social, economic and governance challenges, and the human dimension of natural resource development.

"I strongly believe there is a way to balance the economic, social and economic values of the Basin, and I am pleased governments of the Basin have committed to working together to make it happen," he said.

Mr Truss congratulated the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council Community Advisory Committee for its foresight in initiating the leadership program.

Further media inquiries: Minister Truss' office: Kylie Butler - 02 6277 7520 or 0417 652 488

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