6.32 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government support the recommendation of the Productivity Commission to
separate the Murray Darling Basin Authority into two entities: the
Murray-Darling Basin Corporation, and the Basin Plan Regulator, with the
Regulator established as a new statutory independent authority.
6.33 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government ensure sufficient funding and resources are allocated to the Basin
Plan Regulator, once established, to ensure that it is adequately resourced to
undertake effective compliance, evaluation and review functions.
6.34 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government consider hypothecating any pecuniary penalties paid to the Basin
Plan Regulator, back to the Regulator. This would assist with the ongoing
viability of the Regulator's compliance and enforcement roles.
6.54 The committee recommends that the Murray Darling
Basin Authority allocate sufficient resources to complete its assessment and
evaluation of Water Resource Plans.
6.65 The committee recommends that the Department of
Agriculture and Water Resources present detailed annual reporting on the
allocation of funds from the Water for the Environment Special Account, in
accordance with the requirements of the Water Act 2007.
6.73 The committee recommends the development of a
uniform schedule of evidentiary requirements, penalties and sanctions be
developed to apply to breaches of water legislation in Murray Darling Basin
jurisdictions. The schedule should be presented to the Council for Australian
Governments for endorsement. The schedule should consider:
appropriate burden of evidence for water breaches;
use of technology in determining breaches;
suitability of strict liability offences; and
simplification of offences.
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