THE Senate has moved to establish an inquiry into the integrity of the water market in the Murray-Darling Basin, following revelations of improper conduct that aired on the ABC’s Four Corners program on July 24.
Under the terms of reference, the following matters will be investigated by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee:
- the allegations of theft and corruption in the management of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin,
- the investigation and public disclosure by authorities, including the New South Wales Government and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, of reported breaches within the Murray-Darling Basin, including the Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan,
- the actions of member states in responding to allegations of corruption and the potential undermining of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,
- the use of Commonwealth-owned environmental water for irrigation purposes, and the impact on Basin communities and the environment,
- the operation, expenditure and oversight of the Water for the Environment Special Account, and
- any other related matters.
The committee is to report by 5 December 2017.
Submissions to the inquiry should be received by 28 September 2017.
Source: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee