Draft Basin Plan report released

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s draft report—Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Five-year assessment—on Basin Plan implementation.

The Commission found that significant progress has been made with about 20% of the water that was used for agriculture now dedicated to the environment and evidence of environmental improvement. But it says there is still a lot of hard work ahead in key areas and success is not guaranteed.

“By 2024, Governments are to deliver an ambitious suite of projects. If these succeed, they will deliver the same environmental outcomes with less water, easing the burden on farmers and Basin communities and saving taxpayers about $480 million dollars,” the Commission said.

“In addition, the Plan requires that an extra 450 GL (about 20% more than water recovered to date) be acquired for the environment, so long as there are no negative socioeconomic impacts.

“The Commission has found that some of the timelines are unrealistic and that institutional and governance arrangements are deficient.”

The Commission has proposed draft recommendations designed to give the Plan every chance of success.

“I’ll continue on my path of implementing the Basin Plan on time and in full, as agreed by both sides of politics.”

The Productivity Commission’s draft report is open for public consultation and its final report will be completed by the end of 2018.

More information is available on the Productivity Commission’s website.