Wednesday, 29 May 2024
    Murray-Darling Basin Plan implementation needs a progress boost

    Murray-Darling Basin Plan implementation needs a progress boost

    A review is being conducted by the Productivity Commission into the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to give the Government suggestions to improve progress. 

    With a deadline of Monday, November 20, 2023, the Commission is seeking feedback on this interim report. 

    If you didn’t already know, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (the Basin Plan) is a significant reform that aims to deliver a healthy, working Basin to benefit the environment, Basin communities, and current and future generations. 

    So far, the Commission believes the Basin Plan will not be fully implemented on time or on budget. “In the five years since the last Commission review, very little progress has been made on water recovery, or on supply and constraints-easing measures,” Associate Commissioner Chris Guest said. 

    Meanwhile, the Commission is currently seeking further information and feedback on the interim report, answering the following topics:  

    • What issues are important to you in implementing the Basin Plan?  
    • How well is the Plan addressing the interests of Aboriginal people?  
    • What lessons should be learned from programs aimed at helping communities adjust to the Plan?  
    • How could Basin Plan water recovery be done better?  
    • What needs to change to deliver infrastructure and efficiency projects under the Plan?  
    • How is environmental water improving the health of the Basin?  
    • What more could be done to support a healthy working Basin? 

    Having already consulted the community via public forums, the Commission gave members a chance to share their views on the implementation of the Basin Plan over the past five years and how it might be improved.  

    The comments show the public’s range of opinions, such as, “Since the implementation of the Basin Plan, we have seen a massive decline in our environment. The funding that was used for revegetation, weed, and feral animal eradication has been shifted.” Also, “Without water being delivered through the basin plan in NW Victoria, we the Latji Latji Mumthelang people believe we are being subjected to bias and non-representation under the self-determination legislation.“ 

    We know many of our members are passionate about environmental policy. Until November 20, you can make a comment or participate in the call for submissions by visiting the Commission's website directly. Some community suggestions have indicated the need for a renewed water recovery plan using cost‑effective and sustainable methods could bolster partnerships, and shared decision making with First Nations people.