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Transitional water resource plans

Transitional water resource plans are in place until water resource plans are accredited. They are plans that recognise existing state water plans under the Water Act 2007, and ensure continuity in state management arrangements while water resource plans are being developed.

State water resource plans will outline how the Murray–Darling Basin’s water resources will be managed consistently with the Basin Plan at a local scale. Transitional arrangements for current state water plans were established to cover the period between the Basin Plan being made (in 2012) and when state water resource plans will be accredited in 2019. Transitional and interim plans are state water planning documents that have been recognised under the Commonwealth’s Water Act 2007. Recognition of these plans ensures continuity of water planning in Basin states, providing certainty to water users while water resource plans are being developed.

Examples of the kinds of documents that are currently recognised as transitional and interim plans include state water sharing plans, water allocation plans, water resource plans, bulk entitlements, environmental entitlements, sustainable water strategies, natural resource management plans, local management rules, sustainable irrigation action plans, catchment strategies, ministerial guidelines, and various policies.

Transition regulations

The original expiry dates of transitional and interim plans under the Water Act 2007 anticipated a shorter period before the commencement of Basin Plan-consistent water resource plans. This meant that many of the transitional and interim plans were due to expire before water resource plans are planned to be operational to meet the Basin Plan objectives.

To remedy this, the Water Amendment (Interactions with State Laws and Water Information) Regulation 2013 was made. This regulation gave extended recognition to state plans as ‘transitional water resource plans’. It also postponed the requirement for there to be a water resource plan for each relevant area until a date specified in the regulation (most commonly 30 June 2019). Multiple batches of regulations were made to provide extended coverage as the transitional or interim status of state plans expired.

Extending coverage of the plans in the regulations also provided an opportunity to recognise any amendments that had been made to the transitional or interim plans. To be included in the regulations, any amendments should make the plan ‘no less consistent’ with the Basin Plan than it was previously.

The MDBA’s role in the regulation process is to provide the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources with advice about the state plans that are in place, including information about correct versions of plans, expiry dates, and the status of amendments (e.g. whether they are ‘no less consistent’ with the Basin Plan). This advice informs the Commonwealth Minister’s decision for transitional water resource plans.

A copy of the advice provided relevant to transitional and interim plans is provided for each plan below. It should be noted that there may be more than one amendment to a transitional or interim plan and subsequently multiple advice documents.

There is one exception to the extensions provided by the transition regulations: any part of a transitional or interim plan that relates to water trading rules will expire at its original expiry date – this applies both to water trading rules that are in stand-alone instruments, and the parts of broader water planning documents that relate to trade. This exception recognises that since the Basin Plan water trading rules came into effect from 1 July 2014, there is a need to move to a consistent set of arrangements as soon as possible, and extending the protection of inconsistent trade rules would be a major barrier to achieving this.

Assessment of amendments to transitional and interim water resource plans

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has assessed amendments to transitional and interim water resource plans that have been recognised under the Water Act 2007 (Cth). These are the MDBA's assessments.

List of plans for each state that prevail over the Basin Plan:

The MDBA's advice for each Transitional Water Resource Plan (TWRP) and Interim Water Resource Plan (IWRP) is included in the following table.

New South Wales

Item State plans WRP area End date of transitional status Version of state plan recognised MDBA advice (TWRP/IWRP assessment)
1 Water Sharing Plan for the Gwydir Regulated River Water Source 2016  Gwydir 30/6/19 01/09/16

2016 - Part 2 

2015 - Part 2 

2014 - Part 1
2 Water Sharing Plan for the Intersecting Streams Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2011 

Intersecting streams

Darling Alluvium

30/06/19 06/07/12 2016 - Part 2
3 Water Sharing Plan for the Lachlan Regulated River Water Source 2016  Lachlan 30/06/19 Start of NSW state plan

2015 - Part 4

2015 - Part 2

2014 - Part 1

4 Water Sharing Plan for the Lower Lachlan Groundwater Source 2003 Lachlan Alluvium 30/06/17 30/06/19 2015 - Part 1
5 Water Sharing Plan for the Lower Murray‑Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2011

Darling Alluvium

NSW Murray 

Lower Darling

30/06/19 6/7/12 2016 - Part 2
6 Water Sharing Plan for the Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers Water Source 2016  Macquarie -
Castlereagh
30/06/19 01/07/16

2016 - Part 2

2015 - Part 2

7 Water Sharing Plan for the Murray Unregulated and Alluvial 

Murray Alluvium

NSW Murray 

Lower Darling

6/7/19 06/07/12 2016 - Part 2
8 Water Sharing Plan for the Murrumbidgee Regulated River Water Source 2016 Murrumbidgee 30/06/19 Start of NSW state plan

2016 - Part 1

2015 -Part 2

2015 - Part 4

2014 - Part 1

9 Plan for the New South Wales Murray and Lower Darling Regulated Rivers Water Sources 2016 NSW Murray  Lower Darling 30/06/19 Start of NSW state plan

2016 - Part 1

2015 - Part 4

2015 - Part 2

2014 - Part 1

10 Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Border Rivers Regulated River Water Source 2009 (NSW) NSW border rivers 30/06/19 22/02/13 2014 - PART 1
11 Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Great Artesian Basin Shallow Groundwater Sources 2011  NSW Great Artesian Basin shallow 30/06/19 06/07/12 2016 - Part 2
12 Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Murray Darling Basin Fractured Rock Groundwater Sources 2011 

Lachlan and South Western fractured rock 

New England fractured rock and Northern basalts

30/06/19 06/07/12 2016 - Part 2
13 Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Murray Darling Basin Porous Rock Groundwater Sources 2011 

Eastern porous rock

Western porous rock

30/06/19 06/07/12 2016 - Part 2
14 Water Sharing Plan for the Peel Valley Regulated, Unregulated, Alluvium and Fractured Rock Water Sources 2010 

Namoi

Namoi

New England fractured rock and Northern Basalts

30/6/19 26/09/14 2015 - Part 1
15 Water Sharing Plan for the Upper Namoi and Lower Namoi Regulated River Water Sources 2016  Namoi 30/06/19 01/07/16

2016 - Part 2

2015 - Part 3

2015 - Part 2

2014 - Part 1

Victoria

Item State plans  WRP area End date of transitional status Version of state plan recognised MDBA advice (TWRP/IWRP assessment)
1AA 2013‑19 North Central Regional Catchment Strategy 

Northern Victoria

Victorian Murray

30/06/19  16/05/13 2014 - Part 1
1 Bulk Entitlement (Bullarook System—Central Highlands Water) Conversion Order 2009 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 14/01/10 2013 
2 Bulk Entitlement (Bullarook System—Goulburn‑
Murray Water) Conversion Order 2009
Northern Victoria 30/06/19 01/07/11 2013
2A Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn Channel System—Coliban Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria 30/06/19 12/07/12 2013
2B Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn Channel System—Goulburn Valley Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria 30/06/19 12/07/12 2013
2C Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn River and Eildon—Goulburn Valley Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria 30/06/19 12/07/12 2013
2D Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn System—City West Water) Order 2012 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
2E Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn System—South East Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
2F Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn System—Yarra Valley Water) Order 2012 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
3 Bulk Entitlement (Omeo) Conversion  Victorian Murray 30/06/19 12/06/12 2013
3A Bulk Entitlement (River Murray—City West Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
3B Bulk Entitlement (River Murray—South East Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
3C Bulk Entitlement (River Murray—Yarra Valley Water) Order 2012  Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
3D Bulk Entitlement (Strathbogie) Conversion Order 2012  Northern Victoria 30/06/19 03/05/12 2013
3E Bulk Entitlement (Trentham) Conversion Order 2012  Northern Victoria 30/0619 05/04/12 2013
3F Bulk Entitlement (Willaura Elmhurst and Buangor Systems—GWM Water) Conversion Order 2012  Wimmera–Mallee (surface water) 30/06/18 03/05/12 2013
3G Bulk Entitlement (Willaura system—Wannon Water) Conversion Order 2012  Wimmera–Mallee (surface water) 30/06/18 03/05/12 2013
4 Bulk Entitlement (Wimmera and Glenelg Rivers—Coliban Water) Order 2010  Wimmera–Mallee (surface water) 30/06/18 20/11/12 2013
5 Bulk Entitlement (Wimmera and Glenelg Rivers—
GWMWater) Order 2010 
Wimmera–Mallee (surface water) 30/06/18 20/11/12 2013
6 Bulk Entitlement (Wimmera and Glenelg Rivers—Wannon Water) Order 2010 Wimmera–Mallee (surface water) 30/06/18 21/11/12 2013
6A Carryover Declaration for Loddon Highlands Water Supply Protection Area 2012 Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 21/11/12 2013
6B Carryover Declaration for Lower Campaspe Valley Water Supply Protection Area 2012  Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 25/10/11 2013
6C Carryover Declaration for Mid‑Loddon Groundwater Management Area 2012  Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 22/03/12 2013
7 Carryover for Bulk Entitlements and Environmental Entitlements in the Broken, Loddon and Bullarook Water Systems (Declaration and Determination) Northern–Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 30/06/10 2013
8 Carryover for Bulk Entitlements and Environmental Entitlements in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Water Systems (Declaration and Determination) 2010 Northern–Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 30/06/10 2013
9 Carryover for Water Shares in the Broken, Loddon and Bullarook Water Systems (Declaration and Determination) 2010 Northern–Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 30/06/10 2013
10 Carryover for Water Shares in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Water Systems (Declaration and Determination) 2010 Northern–Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 30/06/10 2013
10A Declaration of Loddon Highlands Water Supply Protection Area (Groundwater) Order 2010  Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 08/07/10 2013
10B Determination of water use objectives All water resource plan areas in Victoria (surface water) 30/06/19 20/06/07 2013
10C Directions on delivery entitlements  All water resource plan areas in Victoria (surface water) 30/06/19 20/06/07 2013
11 Environmental Entitlement (Birch Creek—Bullarook System) 2009 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 01/07/11 2013
12 Environmental Entitlement (Campaspe River—Living Murray) 2007 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 01/07/11 2013
13 Environmental Entitlement (Goulburn System—Living Murray) 2007 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 01/07/11 2013
13A Environmental Entitlement (Goulburn System—NVIRP Stage 1) 2012 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
13B Environmental Entitlement (River Murray—NVIRP Stage 1) 2012 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 02/07/12 2013
13C Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy 2013‑2019 Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19  16/08/13 2014 - Part 1
13D Goulburn Broken Regional River Health Strategy 2005‑2015 Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 11/05/12 No advice. Plan given extended notice but no amendments being made.
14 Goulburn River Environmental Entitlement 2010 Northern Victoria 30/06/19 01/07/11 2013
14A Loddon Highlands Water Supply Protection Area Groundwater Management Plan Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 21/11/12 2013
14B Lower Campaspe Valley Water Supply Protection Area Groundwater Management Plan Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 17/10/12 2013
14C Lower Campaspe Valley Water Supply Protection Area (Groundwater) Order 2010 Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 01/07/10 2013
14D Lower Ovens Groundwater Management Area Local Management Plan Goulburn–Murray 30/06/19 20/08/12 2013
14E Mallee Regional Catchment Strategy 2013‑19 Goulburn–Murray  30/06/19  16/08/13 2014 - Part 1
14F Manual for Victoria’s Salinity Accountability in the Murray‑Darling Basin All water resource plans in Victoria 30/06/19 01/04/11 2013
14G North East Regional Catchment Strategy Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19  16/05/13 2014 - Part 1
14H North East Sustainable Irrigation Action Plan Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 19/05/10 2013
15 Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy prepared under section 22B of the Water Act 1989 Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 09/11/09 2013
16 Order Declaring Water Systems in Northern Victoria 2007 Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 21/06/07 2013
17 Permissible Consumptive Volume Groundwater Order 2011 Northern Victoria and Victorian Murray 30/06/19 14/07/11 2013
17A Policies for managing section 76 approvals

All water resource plan areas in Victoria

30/06/19 27/08/13

2014 - Part 1

2013

17B Policies for managing take and use licences All water resource plan areas in Victoria 30/06/19 02/02/14

2014 - Part 1

2013

17C Policies for managing works licences All water resource plans in Victoria 30/06/19 19/10/10 2013
17D Standard water‑use conditions   All water resource plan areas in Victoria (surface water) 30/06/19 20/06/09 2013
17E Upper Ovens River Water Supply Protection Area Water Management Plan

Goulburn–Murray

Murray and Northern Victoria

30/06/19 11/01/12 2013
17F Western region sustainable water strategy

Wimmera–Mallee (groundwater) 

Wimmera–Mallee (surface water)

30/06/18 10/11/11 2013
18 Wimmera and Glenelg rivers environmental entitlement 2010 Wimmera–Mallee (surface water) 30/06/18 20/11/12 2013

Queensland

Item State plan  WRP area End date of transitional status Version of state plan recognised MDBA advice (TWRP/IWRP assessment)
1 Water Management Plan for the Upper Condamine Alluvium Sustainable Diversion Limit Area 2012 Condamine–Balonne 30/06/19 10/08/12 No advice. Plan given extended status but no amendments being made.
2 Water Resource (Border Rivers) Plan 2003 QLD border rivers 30/06/19 27/09/13 2014 - Part 1
3 Water Resource (Condamine and Balonne) Plan 2004 Condamine–Balonne 30/06/19 27/09/13 2014 - Part 1
4 Water Resource (Moonie) Plan 2003 Moonie 30/06/19 27/09/13 2014 - Part 1
5 Water Resource (Warrego, Paroo, Bulloo and Nebine) Plan 2003 Warrego–Paroo–Nebine 30/06/19 27/09/13 2014 - Part 1

South Australia

Item State plan  WRP area End date of transitional status Version of state plan recognised MDBA advice (TWRP/IWRP assessment)
1AA Mallee prescribed wells area water allocation plan SA Murray region 31/12/17 2/5/12 2013
1 Natural resources management plan for the South Australian Murray–Darling Basin natural resources management region All Water Resource plan areas in SA 30/06/19 28/4/09 2013
2 Peake, Roby and Sherlock prescribed wells area water allocation plan SA Murray region 31/12/17 02/03/11 2013
2A Water allocation plan for the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges 30/6/19  17/12/13 2014 - Part 2
3 Water allocation plan for the Marne Saunders prescribed water resources Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges 30/06/19 18/01/10 2013
4 Water allocation plan for the Noora prescribed Wells Area SA Murray region 31/12/17 03/03/18 No advice. Plan given extended status but no amendments being made.
5 Water allocation plan for the River Murray prescribed watercourse  SA River Muray 30/06/19 05/02/11 No advice. Plan given extended status but no amendments being made.

The advice of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has been published in accordance with Action 8a of the MDBA Compliance Review.

For copies of the plans recognised refer to the relevant state government.