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Proposed Basin Plan amendments – minor practical changes

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority has provided the northern Basin amendments, including the groundwater and minor practical changes, to Commonwealth Minister responsible for water. These amendments are now law and will be tabled in the Australian Parliament, when it resumes. For more information read this media release.

In consultation with basin state governments, we have identified a range of minor improvements that would enable a practical and consistent implementation of the Basin Plan. In addition, changes to the Water Act 2007 (Cwth) made in mid-2016 require some minor amendments to the Basin Plan to ensure the legislation is consistent.

Key amendments

  • boundary changes to make areas of catchments more consistent
  • minor changes to assist basin states with water recovery and trade
  • minor changes to the Basin Plan following changes to the Water Act 2007

The proposed changes also include:

  • boundary changes to align better with state boundaries
  • giving basin states extra time to specify the allocation of their shared water recovery targets
  • changes to the ACT's baseline diversion limit to reflect The Living Murray water recovery and a better understanding of diversions at the time.
  • changes to compliance on sustainable diversion limits in certain circumstances
  • minor changes to water trading rules to provide more clarity
  • minor changes to the Basin Plan following changes to the Water Act 2007.

In response to suggestions from the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council (16 June 2017) the Authority has incorporated two further technical amendments to include:

  • additional provisions to separate requirements for groundwater water quality management plans from those for surface water.
  • Separation of steps for determining compliance with the long-term sustainable diversion limit as part of the reasonable excuse provisions.

Further information can be found in this summary.

Key information

Minor and practical changes snapshot

View the snapshot

Supporting documents

Background information and research

Legal documents

These documents apply for all proposed change to the Basin Plan.