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Who watches the waters? The end of the National Water Commission

The National Water Commission (NWC) is to be dissolved, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann confirmed on Monday. Established during the millennium drought, the NWC is an independent statutory authority designed to monitor the progress of national water reform, but its role changed and expanded over the years. What has the NWC been doing? Read more...

The sun sets on solar hot water rebates

The Government has ended its solar hot water rebate initiative, the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme (REBS). An announcement was made yesterday that henceforth REBS rebates will only be eligible to those people who have had systems installed, ordered or purchased before 28 February 2012, and lodged a claim before 30 June 2012. Although the scheme was always meant to end on 30 June 2012, this is the first time a purchase cut-off date has been publicised. Besides providing prospective applicants with no prior warning, the closure raises the question of why has the rebate been phased out so suddenly?REBS was first announced on 19 February 2010 as a replacement for the discontinued Home Insulation ... Read more...

Draft Basin Plan and Environmental water

The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) released the long-awaited Draft Basin Plan on 28 November 2011. The plan will be available for public comment until 16 April 2012. The MDBA also released a Socio-economic analysis of the plan, and a plain English summary, Delivering a healthy working basin, that is intended to put the ideas into a broader context. Criticism began almost as soon as the document went out.But first, what is the purpose of the plan, and what does it propose? The draft Basin Plan outlines the amount by which Australia needs to reduce its consumption of water from the Murray-Darling Basin. Water consumption needs to be reduced in order to preserve the river system into ... Read more...

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