Mid-year report card highlights work ahead for Basin Plan

Published: 01 July 2019 – MDBA

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Chief Executive, Phillip Glyde, said that while some work had progressed over the past six months, concerted action in the second half of 2019 was needed to improve the outlook for six key elements of the Basin Plan.

“We have found the current level of progress varies. Good progress is being made in three areas: water recovery, managing compliance with the rules of water use and the delivery of water for the environment are maintaining a good pace.

“On the other hand, the adjustment to the sustainable diversion limit (SDL) is at risk, finalisation of some water resource plans has been extended because of delays and more work is required to implement initiatives in the Northern Basin.

“The Basin Plan arose from an urgent need to secure the future of our nation’s most important river system, and was forged in the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship. It is a testament to the strength and importance of the Basin Plan that this bipartisanship has endured.

MDBA Basin Plan Report Card

Back On Track!


LifeBlood Alliance – 8th July 2019

The Murray Darling Basin Plan set out to save our rivers from environmental disaster. Since the $13 Billion Plan began in 2012, there has been major concerns raised with implementation, including allegations of corruption, maladministration and mismanagement.

Communities who depend on our rivers fear that if we don’t act now to bring the Plan back on track, our rivers will die and dependent communities will decline.

Here, we present a 7 point strategy to restore integrity to the Plan, so it can deliver on its key objectives – to keep the rivers and dependent communities alive and well.

LBA Back On Track


NSW towns including Dubbo and Tamworth face water emergency within months

The Guardian

Anne Davies

Friday 24/5/19

In some central and western areas on Murray-Darling no ground water can be accessed by bores, as dams run close to dry

Towns in western and central New South Wales, including Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar, Walgett and Tamworth, are facing a crisis in their water supplies within a few months unless it rains, prompting emergency planning by water authorities.


We Need a Broad Review for a Complex Plan

Inland Rivers Network President Bev Smiles talks to ABC Riverina 24th April 2019

The complexities in the Basin and the world of water reform are deep, and have taken many years to develop – it will take a review with very broad terms of reference to do justice to the issues we face in the Basin. There has been a spate of reviews into the Murray Darling Basin, but they all have a narrow view and deal with only certain details of the implementation of the Plan.

From an environmental point of view, we need to look at the type of licences that are being bought back. Some types of licences might not be delivering the types of environmental outcomes required under the Basin Plan. We need an audit of all environmental water being held.

We need a review broad enough to look at the whole Basin. For example, many residents and stakeholders are unhappy with the Northern Basin Amendments, which takes in the whole Darling River system. Clearly this system is extremely stressed, as we experienced with the massive fish kill at the beginning of the year.

The socio-economic definitions being referred to in the public debate are too narrow, only focusing on those few communities that rely heavily on irrigation. There are many other industries in the Basin that rely on water; commercial fishing in SA, recreational fishing, tourism and grazing for example. We cannot afford to be blinkered and risk neglecting many interconnected economies and communities for the sake of one.

Inland Rivers Network has always said that communities that are heavily reliant on irrigation will need help. Built into the Murray Darling Basin Plan was money for Regional Diversification – where is this money, and what benefits have communities seen from it?

Environmental water buy backs are easily blamed for the hardships felt in irrigation communities, but the reality is far more complex. Drought will be a tough time for irrigation communities regardless of what is going on in water reform. Another important point to consider is that when water became a tradable property separate from land, anybody could buy water access licences and shift them to different valleys, impacting existing industries as other industries grew.

Water reform and Basin Plan implementation is very complex, and it deserves a very broad, big picture review.

The Floodplain Dilema

The Land

Taking water from the top means less at the bottom, say irrigators.

EVER-widening divisions between graziers and irrigation farmers on floodplains in the state’s north, while in the south disgust at how paying water users are being treated, is heightening tensions within the Murray-Darling Basin.

This estimated 3000GL far exceeds the 1800GL NSW and Victoria are legally obliged to supply to South Australia.

www.theland.com.au the-floodplain-dilemma