Media Release

Northern Basin Review locked in

20 September 2018

  • ​The Northern Basin Review Amendment cemented
  • 70 gigalitres of water retained by Northern Basin Communities
  • Northern Basin water recovery target reduced from 390 GL to 320 GL

Northern basin communities are celebrating tonight after the Northern Basin Review was cemented after passing one last hurdle.

The parliamentary disallowance period for the Northern Basin Review (NBR) instrument formally expired, meaning the senate can no longer repeal the NBR through a simple disallowance vote.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the NBR would enable 70 gigalitres of water to be retained by local communities in the northern Basin.

"Keeping that water in local communities will protect around 200 jobs in the Northern Basin community," Minister Littleproud said.

"Having cleared this final hurdle, northern basin communities finally have certainty.

"I'm delivering the Basin Plan on time and in full as I said I would."

Minister Littleproud signed the NBR instrument on 2 July 2018 following agreement with the Labor Party to end the water wars.

"The Murray-Darling Basin is a critical natural resource and the Basin Plan, which ensures we pass that on to future generations, should be above politics," Minister Littleproud said.

"The agreement will improve compliance, improve outcomes for Aboriginal people and protect environmental flows.

"The Northern Basin Review process was included in the Basin Plan with the agreement of all jurisdictions in 2012.

"Today's milestone further confirms the delivery of a 'toolkit' of environmental works and measures to be rolled out over the next few years.

"This will include environmental works projects—such as fishways to promote fish movement and habitat—that will also generate new local jobs."

Fast Facts:

  • 'Toolkit measures' designed to improve water management include
    • arrangements to protect environmental flows
    • targeted recovery of water
    • event-based mechanisms (such as options for pumping and store-and-release)
    • improving the coordination and delivery of environmental water
    • environmental works and measures to promote fish movement and habitat