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Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:43

Basin 'on track'

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority said today it was on course to deliver a 'stronger and more effective compliance regime' across its catchments.

The MDBA and an independent panel recently conducted a compliance review at the request of the Federal Government.
The review was asked to assess the legislative, policy and practical implementation of compliance in water management across the Basin.
Head of compliance, Russell James, said the authority had made good progress turning compliance review outcomes into tangible actions.
"The MDBA is committed to being more transparent, assertive and consistent in how we handle allegations of non-compliance," he said.
"Since November, we have published an online register to report on the handling and progress of compliance matters.
"The register is now live on our website, so members of the public can have confidence that reports are referred and followed up, noting report descriptions are de-identified to protect the integrity of future investigations.
"We've also adopted an escalation pathway that sets out when and how we will follow up on alleged breaches – and we've published that too.
"The MDBA has also established an Office of Compliance to improve water compliance in line with the Basin Plan.
"And early in the new year we expect to announce the terms of reference and membership of a new independent assurance committee, which will hold the MDBA to account for its Basin Plan responsibilities.
"We continue to act on all of the recommendations in the Review that are within our remit – we are making good progress, but there is plenty more to do."
The MDBA is also working with the government to examine options for improving its compliance powers in the lead up to and beyond the commencement of accredited State Water Resource Plans in June 2019.
More recommendations will be implemented throughout 2018. Basin state governments are also considering a number of recommendations from the MDBA and the Independent Panel. 
The online register can be found at www.mdba.gov.au/basin-plan-roll-out/compliance/action-compliance-review.

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