Inquiry into use of Murray Darling Basin water resources

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HAVE YOUR SAY… Local Member for Shepparton region, Suzanna Sheed, speaking at the Murray Darling Basin Plan rally in September, 2019. Photo: Katelyn Morse.

With the domination of devastating fires filling the media over the past few weeks, the arguments regarding the water flows in the Murray Darling Basin continue unabated.

To that end, the Inspector General of Murray Darling Basin Water Resources, Mick Keelty AO, is undertaking an inquiry into the management of the basin’s water resources at the request of the Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, David Littleproud.

Local Member for Shepparton region, Suzanna Sheed stressed the importance of people who are affected by water allocations to get their submissions in before the closing date saying, “The Federal Government should have given more notice on this as many people may have not been aware, particularly in light of the bushfires now happening.” The government has extended the submission date by one week.

The inquiry is being conducted within but independent of the Department of Agriculture and feedback is being solicited on their website at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/inquiry-murray-darling-basin?tool=survey_tool#tool_tab before January 19, 2020.

Matters to be taken into consideration in the inquiry are the impact of changing distribution of inflows to the southern basin on state shares under the Murray Darling Basin agreement. Further they are looking at any consequential impacts on state water shares resulting from reserves required under the Murray Darling Basin agreement.

Town hall meetings are to be held across the region, the date for the Shepparton meeting is yet to be decided while the inquiry intends to be completed by March 31.