On 16 August 2017, the Senate moved that the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 5 December 2017. On 5 December 2017, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting to 28 March 2018:
The integrity of the water market in the Murray-Darling Basin, with particular reference to:
- the allegations of theft and corruption in the management of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin,
- the investigation and public disclosure by authorities, including the New South Wales Government and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, of reported breaches within the Murray-Darling Basin, including the Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan,
- the actions of member states in responding to allegations of corruption and the potential undermining of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,
- the use of Commonwealth-owned environmental water for irrigation purposes, and the impact on Basin communities and the environment,
- the operation, expenditure and oversight of the Water for the Environment Special Account, and
- any other related matters.
Submissions should be received by 28 September 2017.