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The final Murray-Darling Basin Plan was signed into law by the Federal Water Minister, Tony Burke on 22 November 2012 and tabled in the Parliament on 26 November 2012.
On 27 February 2014, the New South Wales and Queensland Governments were the last to sign the Intergovernmental Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin and an amended National Partnership Agreement. The New South Wales Government had been holding off signing the IGA until it was satisfied a number of conditions relating to the implementation of the Basin Plan were going to be met. These included a cap on the volume of water recovered through buyback, giving priority to infrastructure and environmental works and measures to meet the remaining recovery volumes and increasing the sustainable diversion limits on two brackish groundwater aquifers. The basin agreement includes an additional $80 million funding over the next eight years which will go towards developing further infrastructure and water management projects, water resource plans and other activities.
The focus has shifted to the implementation phase of the Basin Plan and ensuring water is recovered for the environment through methods that cause the least harm to local businesses and the community. The Basin Plan will be implemented over the next six years to allow time for basin states, communities and the Government to work together to manage the changes required for a healthy working basin.
On 24 June 2015, the Senate resolved to establish the Select Committee on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The committee is inquiring into the social, economic and environmental impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on regional communities. It will provide a final report to the Senate on or before 26 February 2016.The Committee encourages submissions to its inquiry from a wide range of individuals and organisations.
Link Submissions to the inquiry - a link to the Parliament website with information on preparing a submission, and a list of current submissions.
Link MI's opening statement and submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
Link The role of the Senate select committee
We were one of the funding partners who commissioned Independent Economics to examine the assumptions and model impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for the South West Murrumbidgee. This report was released on 16 April 2012. This report was also provided to the MDBA as a submission.
Read the full report Modelling the Economic Impact of the Draft Basin Plan.
Link The Basin Plan (MDBA website)
For further information, contact:
National Irrigators' Council
Phone: 02 6273 3637
Level 2, NFF House
14-16 Brisbane Avenue
Barton ACT 2600