Joint media release: Important step forward for Murray-Darling Basin as NSW submits water plans

21 April 2020

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, The Hon. Keith Pitt MP
NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, The Hon Melinda Pavey MP

New South Wales has provided a significant step forward that will assist water management in the Murray-Darling Basin after submitting the first of their Water Resource Plans (WRPs).

Federal Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said the plans are now being assessed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

“I’d like to thank my New South Wales counterpart Water Minister Melinda Pavey for the this important milestone which is a sign of our positive collaboration on water management in the Murray-Darling Basin,” Minister Pitt said.

Minister Pavey said 11 of New South Wales’ WRPs are now being assessed.

“The plans relate to groundwater through the NSW section of the Basin and my department is now working the remaining nine related to surface water,” Minister Pavey said.

“I made a commitment to communities late last year that I would re-engage with them on Water Resource Plans, and I will continue to meet that commitment throughout this process.

“Despite the challenges associated with COVID-19, my department and I are working with communities through video-and tele-conferencing to ensure their views are heard for the remaining nine surface water plans.”

Minister Pitt acknowledged the work that’s been achieved to reach this point.

“I congratulate and thank Minister Pavey and her department for working through some incredibly difficult circumstances to submit the plans, including drought and now COVID 19,” Minister Pitt said.

“These water resource plans are an integral part of the Basin Plan, and having them in place will provide certainty for water users.”

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work collaboratively to support communities through these challenging times.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority will now review the water resource plans against the requirements of the Basin Plan, and advise Minister Pitt on the outcome as the Commonwealth Minister.

“While assessing the plans can take some effort, my expectation is that this will be done quickly to ensure that our Basin communities have the certainty that they deserve,” Minister Pitt said. 

“I look forward to receiving the remaining New South Wales plans in the near future”.