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Published: 28 August 2012   •   Media release

Today is an important milestone in the progress towards a Murray–Darling Basin Plan as it represents, under the process mandated by the Water Act, the end of the period where Basin ministers advise the Commonwealth minister of any further views on the draft plan.

Basin ministers have today provided both their consensus views and individual state views on the current version of the plan. From this point, any suggestions or directions about further changes can only come from the Commonwealth minister. We note that the Commonwealth minister has, despite his clear authority to act unilaterally, indicated his intention to use his best endeavours to continue to work with all jurisdictions to finalise the plan this year.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority will now consider the information as part of the next step of progressing the draft plan. This opportunity for Basin ministers to provide their views follows their ministerial notice to the MDBA in July, where ministers achieved common ground on a number of important and key issues.

As the Commonwealth minister has noted in his statement today, it is anticipated he will be providing further comments on the draft plan as he continues his discussions with Basin ministers in the coming weeks.

The MDBA would like to thank the Commonwealth and state and territory governments for their suggestions so far and to restate our commitment to use a balanced approach to managing the water resources of the Basin. We also thank the many groups and individuals in the Basin who have contributed to this process of developing the plan and also reaffirm our commitment to continue working with them as we undertake this important national water reform.

ENDS

For more information contact the MDBA Media office at media@mdba.gov.au or 02 6279 0141.

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