Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)

  • Up to 3-year term commencing 1 July 2024
  • Sitting fees to be shared upon request

Join us to shape the future of one of Australia’s greatest natural assets and protect it for future generations.

We are seeking people who want to contribute to a significant water reform program that aims to respond to the impacts of climate change, support community and industry needs, and improve access to water for First Nations people. 

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is an independent government agency which, in partnership with Basin governments, manages the Murray–Darling Basin’s water resources in the national interest. With the enactment of the Water Act 2007, the MDBA was established as an independent expertise-based statutory agency.

The MDBA aims to achieve a healthy working Basin for the benefit of all Australians. The Murray–Darling Basin contains a rich diversity of natural environments that are unique in Australia and the world. The Basin is also crucial to Australia’s economy and home to 2.3 million Australians, including people from over 50 First Nations. How we manage the Basin as a whole connected system, manage our water carefully, and protect it for future generations is set out in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.  

The Committee

The Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences (ACSEES) is an important source of independent, strategic advice to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. The Committee is established under Section 203 of the Water Act 2007 and works to ensure the Basin Plan is implemented with the support of robust methodology, science and knowledge. 

ACSEES reviews and advises on the science that informs Basin Plan implementation, the Basin Plan Review and the broader scientific context of the MDBA’s work, including environmental watering, adaptive management, climate change and the monitoring and evaluation of Basin Plan outcomes. Fostering partnerships and the communication of Basin science within academic, community and industry networks are also important components of the committee’s role. 

The MDBA provides an ACSEES Secretariat to support the Committee.

The Position 

We are seeking a committee member who brings a depth of understanding of issues relevant to implementing the Basin Plan and has high-level scientific expertise and experience in the field of regional economics and the application of economics research for regional/industry development. 

The committee member will also have a demonstratable understanding of the social and economic landscape of the Murray-Darling Basin, and its interactions with water governance and government processes. Members will have strong links with the scientific community in their field of expertise.

The ACSEES meets formally three to four times a year for two full days, with workshops, interactions with specific MDBA programs or teleconferences organized between formal meetings as required. All members of the Committee are expected to act as a cohesive team so that they most effectively perform their functions. 

The member will sit on the Committee for a tenure of up to 3 years. Following completion of their tenure, the member may re-apply to the Committee.

In this role you will contribute to the provision of independent, strategic advice to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

Your key responsibilities in this role will be based around: 

  • Science Quality: provision of advice to improve the delivery of outputs developed by MDBA, to help to ensure that science is fit for purpose to meet objectives, scientific peer review and quality assurance.
  • Science Health: provision of advice on science and capability and capacity related issues.
  • Future: provision of advice to inform future direction and priorities.
  • Engaging: engaging with internal MDBA staff on activities and emerging issues, and engaging externally with the research and knowledge community.
  • Communications: provision of advice on the MDBA’s approach to key messaging, communiques and contribution to thought leadership in science and general population.
  • Expert research, science contribution and design: provision of advice into research or scientific design.

The successful candidate will bring a depth of understanding of issues relevant to implementing the Basin Plan and will be able to demonstrate the following capabilities and attributes:

  • Experience in regional economics scientific research and the application of economics research for regional/industry development
  • Awareness of the regional economic profile of the Murray–Darling Basin and the economic challenges being experienced across the Basin
  • Established networks with regional economics researchers, industry experts and regional communities
  • Awareness of water management framework of the Murray–Darling Basin, including the Water Act, Basin Plan, and the interactions between Commonwealth, State and Local Governments
  • Members will have strong links with the science and knowledge community in their field of expertise.
  • Demonstrable leadership capabilities and experience in similar committee structures, will also be highly regarded. Members will bring a strategic awareness of Murray-Darling Basin water policy challenges and an understanding of Murray-Darling Basin science related initiatives.

The ACSEES interact face-to-face and virtually. The ability to work collaboratively and productively in a physical and virtual environment (with both committee members and MDBA staff) is essential. 

How to Apply:

Applicants are required to submit an application using the MDBA’s eRecruit system. No extensions will be granted, and late applications will not be accepted.

As part of your application, you will need to provide your:

  • CV including the contact details of two referees.
  • A ‘one-page pitch’ of no more than 750 words telling us how your skills, knowledge, and experience make you suitable for what we are looking for.
  • Indicate your preference of location.

For more information regarding this opportunity please contact Dr Matthew Coleman,
General Manager Science Acquisition
(02) 6279 0468 or 

Candidate Pack – ACSEES Committee Members – Regional Economics Opens in new window

How to apply:




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