​Media Release

Keeping the Lake Eyre Basin in good health

23 March 2018

  • Public consultation begins on how the Lake Eyre Basin should be managed
  • Review to look at how NT, NSW, SA and Queensland can share the resource better
  • The basin is an important natural resource and a vital source of water for agriculture

​One of the outback's greatest water resources will be put under the microscope with management of the Lake Eyre Basin going out for public consultation.

This enormous surface water system covers three states and the NT.​

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement was set up to make sure water use in one state didn't have severe consequences over the border.

"Everybody needs good neighbours and this Agreement is all about making sure neighbouring states can get along," Minister Littleproud said.

"I want to make sure the agreement encourages the states and the Northern Territory to work together when they put plans in place to use the water.

"The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the last dryland water systems in the world, securing its future is important.

"The Intergovernmental Agreement was set up by the Australian, Queensland, South Australian and Northern Territory governments to make sure water use by one state didn't hurt its neighbours.

"The Agreement is reviewed every ten years to make sure it's achieving its objectives.

"I would welcome the NSW Government also joining this important and long-standing agreement.

"Independent consultant Noetic will undertake the review.

"Australians can have their say on how water has been managed in the Basin and what can be done better. This is an important opportunity to make sure the Agreement is fit for the Basin's future.

"I'm encouraging anyone interested in the health of the Lake Eyre Basin to get involved and point out any on-ground issues."

​Comments can be provided online or by downloading the submission form on the consultation page (http://agriculture.gov.au/water/national/lake-eyre-basin) and returning it to the Lake Eyre Basin Secretariat via email at lebsecretariat@agriculture.gov.au.

Fast facts

  • The Lake Eyre Basin covers almost one sixth of Australia at 1.2 million square kilometres across Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory and New South Wales.
  • The Basin is one of the world's largest internally draining river systems
  • An estimated 60,000 people live in the Lake Eyre Basin
  • The main industries in the Basin are Pastoralism and other primary production, Mining and Petroleum, and Tourism