Critical Murray Darling-Basin amendment gets green light

Photo credit: Chloe Szentpeteri


The federal government has delivered certainty to the two million people living in the Murray-Darling Basin after the senate voted to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.


The vote to uphold the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism succeeded when the opposition joined with the government to defeat the attempt to crush the Plan.


Minister for agriculture and water resources David Littleproud said this meant Basin communities needed to give up 605 gigalitres less water, while still delivering benefits to the environment.


“This agreement will give the two million Australians living in Basin communities certainty,” Littleproud said.


“Farmers will be able to get on with growing clean, green food with government out of their lives.


“Work will soon begin on recovering an additional 450 GL for the environment through projects that ensure neutral or improved socio-economic outcomes.


“The agreement with Labor will also deliver the Northern Basin Review, which means farmers in the northern basin will return 70GL less water to the river. The NBR had previously been disallowed in the Senate when Labor voted with the Greens.


“We’re delivering sensible and balanced water reform that boosts agricultural production, strengthens communities in our food producing regions, and delivers positive environmental outcomes,” Littleproud concluded.


Fast Facts:

  • SDL adjustment mechanism provides $3.075 billion to reform water management and recover additional water to improve environmental outcomes.
  • The government has recovered, or contracted to recover, more than 2,100 GL of water across the Murray-Darling Basin—greatly benefiting the Basin environment
  • Agricultural production in the Murray-Darling Basin is worth more than $20 billion—around $7 billion of this is from irrigated agriculture.