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Published: 10 January 2017   •   Media release

There is a month left before submissions on the proposed Basin Plan amendments close and the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is encouraging submissions from the community.

MDBA Chief Executive, Phillip Glyde said that it was important that the MDBA heard the full range of views from communities.

"The MDBA continues to hold community information sessions to provide an opportunity for people to understand what changes are being proposed to the Basin Plan and answer questions from communities including Aboriginal people, agricultural and tourism industry representatives and businesses as well as other interest groups such as recreational fishers.

"I urge all stakeholders and community members regardless of whether they have attended an information session to consider making a submission about the proposed amendments," Mr Glyde said.

"It is imperative that people who make a submission put forward any new information that may not have been considered in setting the proposed amendment, so that we can then determine whether the proposed amendments are what we should recommend to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources."

"Dates and venues have now been confirmed for southern basin information sessions for the broader community at Griffith, Loxton and Echuca.

"These southern basin meetings are a chance for us to reassure people in the southern basin that the proposed changes in the north will not impact water entitlement holders in the south."

Mr Glyde said in the southern part of the basin, the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations were also organising workshops at Echuca and Dareton in the last week of January, to help enable local Aboriginal people to understand the proposed changes.

"Aboriginal people have told us that they are interested in groundwater management, so we encourage Traditional Owners to participate in these sessions and make a submission," Mr Glyde said.

Mr Glyde said information sessions and workshops in the north organised by the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) will occur until 18 January for local Aboriginal people.

"These NBAN facilitated information sessions and workshops are an important opportunity to assist the Aboriginal community to engage in the process. This will help us to better understand the cultural, spiritual and social and economic significance that changes to water management have for their communities," Mr Glyde said.

Dates and locations of these meetings are available at:
http://www.mdba.gov.au/basin-plan-roll-out/northern-basin/information-sessions

To attend an information session or to find out more email engagement@mdba.gov.au or call 1800 230 067.

Submissions are open until 10 February 2017, and can be made online, by email or via the post.

For more information about the Basin Plan amendment process or to make a submission go to www.mdba.gov.au/BPamendments

ENDS

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

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BACKGROUND

Proposed changes include a recommendation to reduce the water recovery target in the northern basin by 70 gigalitres, an increase to the amount of groundwater that is extracted from three groundwater areas and a few other practical improvements to the Basin Plan.

To date the MDBA has had around 450 people attend northern basin information sessions, with some taking the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Others have used the submission process available to provide views on the proposals.

Following the submissions period, the MDBA will consider all feedback and review whether the proposed amendments should be adjusted, before consulting with basin state ministers and providing to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources for introduction to parliament.

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