THE Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has recommended an amendment to the Murray–Darling Basin Plan to the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston.
The proposed changes include:
- a reduction to the water recovery target in the north of the Basin, from 390 gigalitres (GL) to 320 GL
- changes to the allowable level of take in three groundwater areas (Eastern Porous Rock, NSW; Western Porous Rock, NSW; Goulburn–Murray; Victoria)
- minor practical improvements to enable effective and consistent implementation of the Basin Plan.
The proposed amendment is the result of the Northern Basin Review where hundreds of community members as well as environmental, Aboriginal, industry and community stakeholders contributed to the evidence base for the amendment.
The proposed amendment also benefitted from formal comments and suggestions from the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council on 16 June 2017.
The Ministerial Council communique can be read at mdba.gov.au/media/mr/communique-murray-darling-basin-ministers-agree-next-steps
The Minister has 12 weeks to consider the recommendation before either tabling the amendment or returning it to the MDBA with suggested changes for consideration.
The MDBA will also recommend a separate amendment to the water recovery target in the south of the Basin, through the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism, before 15 December 2017.
More information about the proposed Basin Plan amendments can be read at mdba.gov.au/basin-plan-roll-out/basin-plan-amendments
A meeting communique outlining the Authority’s decision to put forward the amendment is available at mdba.gov.au/publications/governance/authority-communiques