Media release

​Murray-Darling communities keep Basin Plan in check

18 October 2018

  • Consultation documents for socio economic test released
  • Criteria to make sure projects have only positive or neutral social and economic impacts
  • Part of the $1.5 billion Murray Darling Basin Water Infrastructure Program

People living in the Murray-Darling Basin are being asked to have their say on a social and economic impact test which will govern water recovery in the Basin.

The ‘neutrality test’ will make sure on-farm water-saving projects only have positive or neutral social and economic impacts.

Southern Basin state governments have also been working on their own criteria for their state-led projects as requested by the Ministerial Council in June.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the Coalition Government is working closely with Basin States.

“We’ve got one chance to get this right,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re determined to keep our rural communities strong while we restore the health of the Basin. We want the knowledge from our rural communities to feed into this criteria.

“The new criteria will be an extra safeguard for Basin communities.”

Sefton and Associates will run the consultations on the draft program criteria with Murray Darling Basin communities.

Consultation starts on Friday 19 October 2018, and runs for three weeks in communities between Toowoomba and Murray Bridge—register your interest here:

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is also surveying Basin communities online.

Fast Facts:

  • On 8 June 2018 the Murray-Darling Ministerial Council agreed to develop additional program criteria to ensure neutral or beneficial socio economic outcomes for on-farm infrastructure.
  • On-farm efficiency measures consultation conducted by Sefton and Associates will give stakeholders an opportunity to comment on draft criteria and suggest alternatives.
  • Victoria and New South Wales released program criteria for state-led measures on 15 October and consultations also give communities the opportunity to give feedback on these.