MinCo confirms time for action on Basin Plan, not more reviews

27 November 2020

Today’s meeting of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council has committed to delivering action for communities and irrigators, and that the time for creating more reviews is over. 

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt chaired the virtual meeting, which was the second this year.

“The Council is made up from Ministers from the Commonwealth and all Basin Governments - Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and South Australia as equal partners in management of the Murray-Darling Basin,” Minister Pitt said.

“To protect the interests of all communities and stakeholders across the Basin, any motion moved at the Council requires unanimous support.

“An alternative set of recommendations by NSW and Victoria calling for another review of the Basin Plan in 2022 was blocked by other Basin Governments with good reason.

“I could hear the groans go up in towns from Goondiwindi to Gawler at the suggestion of yet another review after a year which has seen a number of significant reports already released and at least seven more to come as part of statutory and other reporting processes,” Minister Pitt said.

“They don’t need another report telling them what they already know. They expect all Governments to deliver real action in their best interests.

“As a critical national asset, state and territory Ministers need to be focused on working together in the interest of all stakeholders and communities.”

“Just a couple of months ago, I announced a shift in direction for the Coalition Government, including major funding commitments and no more water buybacks, as part of our strategy to put communities back at the heart of the Murray-Darling Basin.

“Through genuine co-operation, all Basin Governments can deliver for their communities through real action, not more reviews.”