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Proposed Basin Plan amendments

10 November 2017

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 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 extensive and comprehensive Northern Basin Review, with hundreds of community members as well as environmental, Aboriginal, industry and community stakeholders contributing to the evidence base for the amendment.

The MDBA thanks all these parties, including the Northern Basin Advisory Committee, for their valuable contribution to this process.

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

All submissions will be published on this page unless labelled confidential.


Information sessions

During the submission period we held about 50 information sessions around the Basin. Our staff and experts from other government agencies were available to discuss the proposed amendments.


What are the proposed changes?

The proposed amendments to the Basin Plan relate to the following areas:

  • Sustainable diversion limits for the northern Murray–Darling Basin
  • Sustainable diversion limits for groundwater in these areas: Eastern and Western Porous Rock (NSW) and Goulburn–Murray (Victoria)
  • Practical changes to make Basin Plan implementation clearer for Basin states (for example boundary changes, minor changes on how states consistently apply rules on extracting groundwater)

Find out more about the proposed amendments


10 November 2017

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 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 extensive and comprehensive Northern Basin Review, with hundreds of community members as well as environmental, Aboriginal, industry and community stakeholders contributing to the evidence base for the amendment.

The MDBA thanks all these parties, including the Northern Basin Advisory Committee, for their valuable contribution to this process.

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

All submissions will be published on this page unless labelled confidential.


Information sessions

During the submission period we held about 50 information sessions around the Basin. Our staff and experts from other government agencies were available to discuss the proposed amendments.


What are the proposed changes?

The proposed amendments to the Basin Plan relate to the following areas:

  • Sustainable diversion limits for the northern Murray–Darling Basin
  • Sustainable diversion limits for groundwater in these areas: Eastern and Western Porous Rock (NSW) and Goulburn–Murray (Victoria)
  • Practical changes to make Basin Plan implementation clearer for Basin states (for example boundary changes, minor changes on how states consistently apply rules on extracting groundwater)

Find out more about the proposed amendments