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AustralianFarmers

Minister raises new Basin leadership role

Today, Federal Water Minister David Littleproud proposed the appointment of an Inspector General for the Murray-Darling Basin.

According to Minister Littleproud, the Inspector General would monitor compliance, investigate suspected water theft, and check that water recovery and efficiency projects were delivered.

“This is a new, tough cop on the beat across the Murray-Darling with the powers needed to ensure integrity in the delivery of the basin plan.

“We want to maintain confidence in the basin plan, and this will be pivotal to achieve that, ad deliver the plan by 2024,” Minister Littleproud said.

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the additional confidence in the delivery of the plan was crucial for communities challenged by the implementation of the plan and the corresponding impacts of drought.

“The NFF will seek an assurance from the Minister, that the role of Inspector General is complementary to that of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and is of value to farmers, communities and the environment.”

The new role is expected to be established by 2020 and have powers under the Water Act 2007.

The appointment of the Inspector General for the Murray-Darling Basin will bea matter for the Federal Cabinet to decide..

Minister Littleproud’s proposal comes ahead of a meeting between the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council on Sunday 4 August.

Mr Mahar said the meeting be watched closely by farmers who were seeking material action on crucial issues.

“Any delays in resolving key challenges will only compound uncertainty and frustration, and compress already tight time frames.“This Sunday’s meeting will be critical to delivering outcomes for basin communities and future stability of the Basin.”

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