Member for Barker Tony Pasin has welcomed plans to establish an Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources.

The Inspector-General will be an independent umpire that will provide transparency, accountability and assurance to communities on the Basin Plan and its delivery.

“The establishment of an Inspector General will bring confidence and assurance to the communities and farmers who rely on the Murray-Darling Basin,” Mr Pasin said.

The Inspector-General will replace the Northern Basin Commissioner and be a statutory position created under the Water Act 2007.

The Inspector-General will work across the entire Murray-Darling Basin to;

  • Provide independent assurance over Basin Plan implementation and progress of both water recovery and delivery of supply and constraint infrastructure projects.
  • Assess the performance of all relevant Commonwealth agencies under the Basin Plan, Water Resource Plans, and the Water Act 2007
  • Receive allegations of non-compliance and refer information to appropriate authorities
  • Provide annual reports to the Minister for Water Resources, and tabled in Parliament
  • Conduct community engagement on Basin Plan implementation and compliance matters.

“The Inspector-General will have powers to gather relevant information and produce annual reports that are tabled in the Australian Parliament, improving transparency, accountability and community confidence in Basin Plan delivery,” Mr Pasin said.

Mr Pasin said the Government would seek to have the Northern Basin Commissioner, Mr Mick Keelty serve as the interim Inspector-General ahead of legislation being in place to create the statutory position.

“The Inspector-General will give communities and irrigators greater confidence in how the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is being implemented and water resources across the Basin are being managed appropriately”

“It is imperative to South Australia and our river communities that the Murray Darling Basin Plan is delivered in full and on time. This will give greater confidence that this is being achieved.” Mr Pasin said.             

The Inspector-General is expected to be established in 2020.