Probity reviews into floodplain harvesting licensing
2019 probity review
In 2018, the department commissioned legal firm, Maddocks, to complete a probity review of the floodplain harvesting works approvals process. The review provides probity advice on certain aspects of implementation of the Healthy Floodplains Project. These include:
- registration of interest (ROI) process
- irrigator behaviour questionnaire (IBQ)
- water infrastructure plan (WIP) processes
Summary of findings
The 2019 probity review found that the licensing processes were lawful and well-documented and the eligibility criteria were consistently applied.
2021 probity review
In 2021, the department commissioned legal firm, Maddocks, to complete another probity review of the Healthy Floodplains Project. The review provides probity advice on the work undertaken by the department and the Natural Resources Access Regulator on the farm scale validation process since the completion of the 2019 probity review. The 2021 probity review is focused on the processes used to gather information, for determining share components of individual replacement floodplain harvesting access licences. This includes the:
- departmental processes for gathering sufficient information under the farm scale validation process
- processes the Healthy Floodplains Review Committee used to consider submissions
- membership and processes relating to the appointment of the Committee members
Summary of findings
The 2021 probity review found that the farm scale validation process enabled the gathering and testing of sufficient information to allow the Minister (or the Minister’s delegate) to make an evidence-based determination of the share component of replacement floodplain harvesting access licences in a way that afforded procedural fairness to the owners of eligible properties. It also found that the farm scale validation process was appropriately documented and that there was a system in place to manage conflicts of interest.