Scholar Profile: The Hon Neil Andrew AO, 1975 Scholar

Neil Andrew AO has filled some key parliamentary roles since he became a Nuffield Scholar in 1975, but in many ways his current position as chair of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has brought him back to where his passion for stewardship of land and water began.

“I am fortunate to have been able to spend my life largely focused on the river, on the life it supports and on the fundamental role it plays in the social and economic life of our communities. Both as a citrus farmer on the River Murray near Waikerie in South Australia and as the federal member of parliament proudly representing the region in Canberra,” Neil explains.

“The centrality of the river in the lives of so many farmers across the Murray–Darling Basin underpins the need for us to all work together for the future sustainability of the Basin and its people.

“That’s not always easy—views about the future of our nation’s most important water resource can differ greatly from one end of the river system to the other.

“But the very thing that gave the Murray–Darling Basin Plan its impetus and brought everyone to the table is its great strength—the common desire, no matter where you are based, to secure the future for all 2.6 million people who live and work in the Basin and the industries that generate jobs and export dollars for Australia.

“Farmers know better than most just how much more is achieved through the cooperation and sharing of new ideas. A similar precious consensus has been achieved between state and commonwealth governments to recognise the