Above: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Northern Basin Commissioner Mick Keelty.


Newly appointed, Northern Basin Commissioner Mick Keelty has visited the district in recent weeks.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed that Mr Keelty had been in Narrabri for a series of meetings and he will return to the region for a more public visit, later this year.

Narrabri Shire Council Mayor Cathy Redding met with Mr Keelty during his trip.

“It is important for local councils to be involved as water is the lifeblood of any shire,” said Cr Redding.

“Council welcomes a stronger relationship with the Basin Commissioner and local irrigators,” Cr Redding added.

The role of Northern Basin Commissioner was created as part of an agreement between the Federal Government and Labor to revive the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The deal with Labor was struck in May 2018 and Mr Keelty was appointed in August 2018.

Mr Keelty is a former AFP Commissioner and his new job is to make sure water users in the Northern Basin are doing the right thing.

The main reason for the Commissioner’s visit was to go over the scope of his new role and to plan to have more transparency in the Northern Basin review.

It’s understood the Commissioner is keen to engage with local Council more.

John Clements, who has a background in water policy and is a member of the strategic advisory for the Murray-Darling Association of Local Government, was invited to attend the meeting with Cr Redding and Mr Keelty.

“We welcome him, he brings a skill-set that’s important. He understands governance and failures,” said Mr Clements.