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. On 22 March 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting to 29 November 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.