Basin Plan amendments

The Murray–Darling Basin Plan is about ensuring a healthy and productive system for future generations.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has proposed changes to the Basin Plan that makes the most of information we've gathered since the Plan was signed off in 2012.

Our recommendations are based on research and monitoring, as well as talking to local communities and working with industry experts.

Following consultation  (read the community consultation report) we recommended further changes to the Basin Plan. The proposed amendments were provided to the Ministerial Council for a 6-week comment period.  

The Ministerial Council provided comments which the Authority considered  (read the communique here). Based on their suggestions we have made some further technical changes to the proposed amendment. No changes to either the northern Basin or groundwater SDLs have been made since the amendment was proposed November 2016.  

The updated amendment has been provided back to Ministerial Council members. They will have three weeks to reconsider the updated package, and can provide any further comments directly to the Commonwealth water minister.

More information:

The amendment process

Approximate timing Stage of amendment process

November 2016

We announced proposed amendments to the Basin Plan.

November 2016–February 2017

Consultation period open and members of the public invited to provide feedback on the proposed amendments.

Information sessions held around the Basin.

March–April 2017

The MDBA considered issues raised during the consultation period and decided whether to recommend any further changes.

May–June 2017

Proposed amendments and revisions given to the Ministerial Council.

The Ministerial Council provided us with comments.

We considered the issues raised by the Ministerial Council and made further changes.

We provided the updated proposed amendment back to the Ministerial Council.

They have three weeks to respond to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. 

Aug–Sept 2017

The MDBA gives the proposed amendments and any revisions to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

The Minister either adopts the amendments or provides further suggestions for changes to the MDBA.

An announcement expected on whether:

  • the amendment will be tabled in parliament, OR
  • further consultation and modification of proposed amendments to be undertaken


What are the proposed amendments?

The proposed amendments focus on three areas of the Basin Plan:

Northern Basin

Proposing a reduction in water recovery

Read more


Revising extraction limits

Read more

Minor practical changes to enable effective and consistent implementation of the Basin Plan.

Read more about the changes

If you have any questions or would like more information on the amendment process please email us or phone 1800 230 067.