Following the tremendous news regarding the success of the One Basin CRC bid in May 2022, the One Basin CRC Leadership Team and Partners have been busy progressing towards the formal establishment of the CRC entity, its governance and partner agreements, along with planning for the research, training and education programs.
The One Basin CRC is a focused collaboration developing policy, technical and financial solutions to support and reduce exposure to climate, water and environmental threats in the Murray-Darling Basin. It is an unprecedented national collaboration of 85 partners in the Murray-Darling Basin, including the University of Melbourne; the Goyder Institute (and its partners The University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the Department for Environment and Water and PIRSA-SARDI); the Australian National University; Charles Sturt University; Hort Innovation; the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA); Sensand Technologies and the University of Sydney.
The Leadership Team, including Goyder Institute Director Dr Kane Aldridge and Technology and Opportunities Program Leader Prof Seth Westra (The University of Adelaide) met for two days in Mildura in June after the MDBA’s River Reflections Conference. While in Mildura, the Leadership Team took the opportunity to provide an update on the One Basin CRC to Basin stakeholders at the Conference, along with meeting the Basin Officials Committee of the Murray-Darling Basin.
The Leadership Team consists of Prof Mike Stewardson (CEO), Prof Sharon Davis (Partner Manager), A/Prof Avril Horne (Foresight and Decisions Program Leader), Prof Geoff Cockfield (Capability and Commercialisation Program Leader) and Prof Okke Batelaan (Flinders University), along with Kane and Seth. Okke was recently welcomed to the Leadership Team as Education and Training Program Leader and has hit the ground running; exploring the possibility of the Internship Program starting this summer and designing the CRC’s PhD Program.
The Leadership Team have developed an establishment plan for the next 6 months, which they are now working to deliver. This includes finalising Partner Agreements, establishing the CRC’s corporate functions and working with all of the CRC partners to update the Strategic Plan, which will guide project development. With this in mind, Dr Alec Rolston (Goyder Institute) will be supporting the Leadership Team in updating the Strategic Plan and establishing QuickStart projects with One Basin CRC Partners, which will provide an important foundation of the CRC’s activities and government-industry-research partnerships. This will build off of Alec’s success in managing the delivery on the Institute’s Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin research program.
A critical part of One Basin CRC’s success will be the Regional Hubs, providing a mechanism to identify priorities of regions and regional partners and shared priorities across different regions of the basin. The Leadership Team is also working on establishing the Regional Hubs, with Kym Walton (PIRSA) being instrumental in setting up Loxton Hub at the Loxton Research Centre. As a first step, Regional Partner Forums will be held in each of the Hubs, commencing on 23-24 August at Loxton. It was pleasing that Hon Tanya Plibersek MP (Federal Minister for the Environment and Water) visited Loxton recently, which provided the opportunity for the Leadership Team to provide an overview of the One Basin CRC to the Minister, who expressed a strong interest in cooperative and collaborative approaches in the basin.
In addition to the Regional Hubs, Industry Convenors will also play a vital role in ensuring the relevant sectors are well engaged in the work of the One Basin CRC; making connections between industry needs and program and project design and delivery. One Basin CRC recently welcomed the Industry Convenors Davi La Ferla (Technology Integration; Sensand Technologies), Karen Hutchinson (Irrigated Agriculture; Murrumbidgee Irrigation), Matt Coleman (Water Planning; MDBA), Kathryn Young (Horticulture; Hort Innovation) and Alex Sas (Wine; Wine Australia).
The Research Program Leads have also recently met with Research Partner representatives, who have now been established to work with Program Leaders and Industry Partners to guide the research program. This includes A/Prof Huade Guan (Flinders University), Prof Holger Maier (The University of Adelaide) and Dr Paul Petrie (SARDI).
For more information please see One Basin CRC or contact Goyder Institute Director, Dr Kane Aldridge. For regular updates please contact Emma Payne to sign up to the One Basin newsletter. For those considering attending the International Irrigation Congress in Adelaide in October, there will be a session on the One Basin CRC. More information is available here https://www.icid2022.com.au/one-basin-crc/.