THE deadline for submissions about proposed amendments to the Murray Darling Basin Plan has been extended by two weeks until Friday, February 24, 2017.
Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) chief executive, Phillip Glyde, encouraged people to use the extra time to complete a submission.
“Stakeholders asked for the extension so that they could have more time to analyse our reports and make suggestions on the changes,” he said.
“We are considering submissions as they are received so the extension should not affect the proposed amendment process timeframe.”
The MDBA has held information sessions about the proposed changes in towns across the Basin to explain the amendments and to discuss broader Basin Plan issues.
“It’s been great to travel and meet with community members over the past few months to discuss the amendments and hear their perspectives,” Mr Glyde said.
“Our website has information about the proposed amendments. If people have further questions about what we have proposed they can contact us by email and phone.”
People who make a submission are encouraged to put forward new information that may not have been considered during the three-year Northern Basin Review or ground water reviews which have instigated the proposed amendments.
The MDBA will then use the information to determine if the proposed amendments should be recommended to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
Proposed changes to the Plan include a recommendation to reduce the water recovery target in the northern basin by 70 gigalitres, an increase to the amount of groundwater that is extracted from three groundwater areas and a few other practical improvements to the Basin Plan.
To date the MDBA has had over 600 people attend information sessions in the north and south basin, with some taking the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Others have used the submission process available to provide views on the proposals.
Following the submissions period, the MDBA will consider all feedback and review whether the proposed amendments should be adjusted, before consulting with basin state ministers and providing to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources for introduction to parliament.
Submissions can be made online, by email or via the post.
For more information about the Basin Plan amendment process or to make a submission go to www.mdba.gov.au/BPamendments