Update on SDL Adjustment Mechanism and Northern Basin Review

The Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, announced on Monday 7 May that the Commonwealth Government and Opposition reached an agreement to ensure the Murray Darling Basin Plan amendments to implement the Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDL) Adjustment Mechanism could proceed, and the Northern Basin Review amendments could be restored.

The agreement covers five key themes:

  1. Strengthening protection of environmental flows
  2. Strengthening compliance with Basin Water Laws
  3. Improving outcomes for indigenous people and addressing the social and economic impacts of the Murray Darling Basin
  4. Improving confidence in the Northern Basin Review data
  5. Improving the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism

Of particular note, the agreement includes the establishment of a Northern Basin Commissioner, and substantial additional Commonwealth investment in Aboriginal involvement in Basin water resources, as well as additional hydrometrics and remote sensing technology.

The agreement is available from: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/water/basin-plan/basin-plan-attachment.pdf

Key initiatives and work undertaken by NSW, particularly through the Water Reform Action Plan, are an important feature of this agreement.