The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has published the Murray–Darling Basin Compliance Compact, which sets out an agreed workplan for governments and the MDBA.
The Ministerial Council agreed at its December 2017 meeting to develop a Compliance Compact as one of the key recommendations from the MDBA and independent panel’s Basin-wide review of compliance.
The Compact is a plan of action that includes a specific pathway for improvements by each state and the MDBA.
Chief Executive of the MDBA, Phillip Glyde, says it’s a significant milestone that will increase transparency and consistency in the way water laws were applied, and build community confidence.
“The benefits of the Basin Plan rely on strong cooperation and long-term accountability, so it is pleasing to see all parties putting emphasis on this important part of water management.”
“Farmers need to know the laws are being enforced; the Australian community needs to know there is strong oversight ensuring that water intended for the environment is protected; water users who do the right thing by following the rules must have confidence that their contribution is not being undermined.”
Mr Glyde says the commitments outlined are comprehensive and included putting in place robust metering arrangements across the Basin, regular reporting to increase the transparency around water extraction from our rivers and actions to protect water for the environment.
“We applaud the work already undertaken by the Victorian and South Australian governments and acknowledge the initiatives by NSW and Queensland governments to improve their compliance systems.”
“The rivers and waterways of the Basin don’t stop at the state borders—the MDBA’s role is to ensure a consistent approach so all jurisdictions can be confident that laws in place are being observed all the way along the system.”
The Compact will be provided to the Council of Australian Governments for endorsement at its next meeting.