Information about the Inquiry

Management of the Murray-Darling Basin

Information about the Inquiry

On 28 October 2010 the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport for inquiry and report.

The management of the Murray-Darling Basin, and the development and implementation of the Basin Plan, with particular reference to:

(a) the implications for agriculture and food production and the environment;

(b) the social and economic impacts of changes proposed in the Basin;

(c) the impact on sustainable productivity and on the viability of the Basin;

(d) the opportunities for a national reconfiguration of rural and regional Australia and its agricultural resources against the background of the Basin Plan and the science of the future;

(e) the extent to which options for more efficient water use can be found and the implications of more efficient water use, mining and gas extraction on the aquifer and its contribution to run off and water flow;

(f) the opportunities for producing more food by using less water with smarter farming and plant technology;

(g) the national implications of foreign ownership, including:  
                (i) corporate and sovereign takeover of agriculture land and water, and  
                (ii) water speculators;

(h) means to achieve sustainable diversion limits in a way that recognises production efficiency;

(i) options for all water savings including use of alternative basins; and

(j) any other related matters.


The Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee is also considering the impact of the New South Wales Government's sale of electricity assets on current and future electricity prices for irrigators as part of its current inquiry into management of the Murray Darling Basin.   Submissions should be received by 25 March 2011.


Inquiry into management of the Murray Darling Basin – impact of mining coal seam gas

The Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee, as part of its inquiry into management of the Murray Darling Basin, is examining the impact of mining coal seam gas on the management of the basin.

The committee will examine:
The economic, social and environmental impacts of mining coal seam gas on:
• the sustainability of water aquifers and future water licensing arrangements;
• the property rights and values of landholders;
• the sustainability of prime agricultural land and Australia's food task;
• the social and economic benefits or otherwise for regional towns and the effective management of relationships between mining and other interests; and
• other related matters including health impacts.

Submissions are invited by Thursday, 30 June 2011.


The closing date for submissions has not yet been set - please check this website for updates. The reporting date is 30 November 2011. On 06 February 2013,the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 13 March 2013.

The Committee is seeking written submissions from interested individuals and organisations preferably in electronic form submitted online or sent by email to rrat.sen@aph.gov.au as an attached Adobe PDF or MS Word format document. The email must include full postal address and contact details.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Notes to help you prepare your submission are available from the website at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/wit_sub/index.htm. Alternatively, the Committee Secretariat will be able to help you with your inquiries and can be contacted on telephone +61 2 6277 3511 or facsimile +61 2 6277 5811 or by email to rrat.sen@aph.gov.au.

Inquiries from hearing and speech impaired people should be directed to Parliament House TTY number 02 6277 7799. Adobe also provides tools at http://access.adobe.com/ for the blind and visually impaired to access PDF documents. If you require any special arrangements to enable you to participate in the Committee's inquiry, please contact the Committee Secretariat.

Once the Committee accepts your submission, it becomes a confidential Committee document and is protected by Parliamentary Privilege. You must not release your submission without the Committee's permission. If you do, it will not be protected by Parliamentary Privilege. At some stage during the inquiry, the Committee normally makes submissions public and places them on its website. Please indicate if you want your submission to be kept confidential.


For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Phone:+61 2 6277 3511
Fax:+61 2 6277 5811
Email:rrat.sen@aph.gov.au

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