Basin Plan delay must deliver a better outcome for the Murray-Darling
We have all been waiting for the release of the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan and you may have picked up in the news that this has been delayed by another two and a half months.
In a statement issued on 3 August the Basin Authority Chair Mr Craig Knowles said that “broader issues need to be resolved before the draft is released” but also went on to assure that the delay has a silver lining.
At the same time information has also leaked out that the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is considering returning only 2800 GL of additional water to the environment through the Basin Plan. Whilst we are disappointed with yet another delay, we are hopeful that the additional two months will allow the Basin Authority to make the sustainable diversion limits (SLDs) to be proposed in the draft version of the plan scientifically robust. We want the Basin Plan to be scientifically valid and return enough water to the Murray-Darling to meet the key environmental tests. Read our Key Environmental Tests brief. The Healthy Rivers team at ACF will continue to press the Murray-Darling Authority to publicly release the scientific modelling, methodology and data that they are using to set the new limits on extracting water for irrigation. This will make it possible for independent scientists to ascertain whether or not the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is living up to its key environmental tests.