The passage of the Inspector–General of Water Compliance Bill through the parliament last week showed the Australian Government’s commitment to delivering on its commitments for Basin communities.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the legislation marked a significant milestone in the delivery of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.
“This new legislation delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthen compliance and enforcement powers in the Murray–Darling Basin by creating new water theft and illegal water trading offences and penalties,” Minister Pitt said.
“Compliance is at the heart of a fair water-sharing system. This legislation significantly strengthens the compliance system in the Murray–Darling Basin.
“The stiff penalties and criminal and civil offences regulated will create real deterrents around water theft and illegal water trading offences, providing communities the assurances they need on water management in the Basin.”
Member for Barker Tony Pasin also welcomed the passage of the legislation, which will provide greater transparency around the management of water in Barker.
“Barker warmly welcomes the establishment of the independent Inspector-General, which builds on many years of engagement with Murray-Darling Basin communities and stakeholders,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Basin’s 2.2 million rural and regional water users will now have the assurance they deserve, through stronger compliance, greater accountability and strengthened integrity around Basin water management.
“Communities will now have greater protection from water theft and water trading offences and all water users will be held to the same high bar through consistent guidelines and standards.
“This also means that the water compliance role of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) will merge with the assurance role of the Interim Inspector-General of Water Compliance.”
More information about the Inspector-General of Water Compliance is available at www.igwc.gov.au