House of Representatives Committees

House Standing Committee on Regional Australia

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Inquiry into the impact of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in Regional Australia

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Terms of Reference

The Standing Committee on Regional Australia will inquire into and report on the socio-economic impact of the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Authority's 'Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan' (the Proposed Basin Plan) on regional communities, with particular reference to:

• The direct and indirect impact of the Proposed Basin Plan on regional communities, including agricultural industries, local business activity and community wellbeing;

• Options for water-saving measures or water return on a region-by-region basis with consideration given to an analysis of actual usage versus licence entitlement over the preceding fifteen years

• The role of governments, the agricultural industry and the research sector in developing and delivering infrastructure and technologies aimed at supporting water efficiency within the Murray-Darling Basin.

In examining each of these issues, the Committee will also consider community views on:

• Measures to increase water efficiency and reduces consumption and their relative costeffectiveness;

• Opportunities for economic growth and diversification within regional communities; and

• Previous relevant reform and structural adjustment programs and the impact on communities and regions.

This will include consultation with Local Government, Regional Development Australia, community groups and individual stakeholders to better understand the local and community issues raised by the Proposed Basin Plan.

The committee will report back to Parliament by end of May 2011.

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