Members of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority Compliance Review independent panel and MDBA officers have undertaken field visits across the Murray-Darling Basin, as part of a review into compliance issues.
MDBA spokesperson Russell James said the MDBA’s basin-wide compliance review would consider current state legislation and administration of compliance across the basin and compare it with best practice.
‘‘We have wasted no time in getting this review under way. In recent weeks we have been in the Riverland, Murrumbidgee, Barwon-Darling, Goulburn-Murray and Lower Balonne to take a closer look at how compliance is working on the ground,’’ Mr James said.
‘‘During these field trips we have met with more than 45 representatives from regional communities, community groups, property owners and irrigators, former public servants, environmental groups and staff from various commonwealth, state and local government agencies.
‘‘We have also held six targeted roundtable meetings with water users and stakeholder groups around the basin attended by over 80 people.
‘‘These field trips form an essential part of the review process — seeing compliance operations in action and hearing from local farmers and stakeholders will help us identify impediments to compliance and ways to strengthen approaches,’’ he said.
The MDBA’s review is supported by an independent expert panel, which will provide a separate report on the MDBA review to basin ministers, including the authority’s own role in compliance and enforcement practices, and ways in which these can be improved.
The MDBA and independent panel reports will be provided to the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council by November 24 and subsequently to the Council of Australian Governments.
Mr James encouraged all interested members of the community to have their say on compliance in the basin by completing a survey which is available from: www.getinvolved.mdba.gov.au