COAG endorses Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council’s implementation plan
12 June 2017
- The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has endorsed a report by the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council (MinCo) outlining how the Murray–Darling Basin Plan will be implemented.
- Endorsement of this plan by COAG paves the way for collaborative Basin Plan implementation by all Basin governments, providing certainty to Basin communities.
- Through the plan, Basin Governments have committed to actions including an independent analysis of the efficiency measures program, consistent with the Basin Plan requirement for socio-economic neutrality; and implementing a package of supply measures that is expected to fully offset the remaining water recovery gap in the Southern Basin.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has endorsed a plan agreed by Basin water ministers in March 2017, outlining how the Basin Plan will be implemented.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce said the plan was developed by the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council, and that its endorsement by COAG provides a credible pathway towards securing the triple bottom line outcomes of the Basin Plan.
“In committing to this plan, Basin governments have agreed to work together on a range of actions to support implementation of this particularly crucial phase of the Basin Plan, with a view to the new sustainable diversion limits (SDL) coming into effect in 2019,” Minister Joyce said.
“This includes an independent analysis of efficiency measures, consistent with the Basin Plan requirement to for socio-economic neutrality.
“Work on the independent review of socio-economic impacts of efficiency measures is already underway, and I released the review’s terms of reference last month. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has now appointed consultants EY to undertake this review, in consultation with a panel of independent experts from across the Basin.
“As part of the plan agreed by COAG, Basin Governments will also be implementing a package of supply measures that is expected to fully offset the remaining water recovery gap in the Southern Basin.
“Basin Governments will also be working overtime to maximise environmental outcomes from the available environmental water, and to implement a ‘toolkit’ of complementary works and measures in support of the outcomes of the Northern Basin Review.
“I am confident that by continuing to work collaboratively, we can ensure the Basin Plan is implemented and Basin communities can be given the certainty they require to grow and prosper.”
The Report by the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council to the Council of Australian Governments, Implementing the Basin Plan, can be found at mdba.gov.au/sites/default/files/mr/Report-by-Minco-implementing-the-Basin-Plan.pdf.
- As at 31 May 2017, almost 75 per cent of the water recovery required under Murray Darling Basin Plan had been achieved.
- More than 2 million Australians live in the Murray–Darling Basin, and there are more than 50,000 farm businesses across the Basin.
- The Murray–Darling Basin is responsible for more than $20 billion of Australia’s $59 billion agricultural production.