There will soon be a tough cop on the beat to make sure upstream irrigators aren’t taking more water than they should.
Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said the new Inspector-General would police the entire Murray Darling Basin, with stronger powers to assure transparency, scrutiny and integrity.
“The drought has shown just how valuable water is in South Australia and this will make sure we get our fair share,” Senator Ruston said.
“The Inspector-General will also make sure the MDBA, Commonwealth and all states live up to their responsibilities in delivering the Plan as agreed and to ensure the laws governing water use are followed.
“The new statutory position will have powers across the basin under Commonwealth Water Act 2007.”
Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said this announcement was the latest in a long line of integrity measures to make sure communities, farmers and environmentalists in Mayo could all have confidence the Basin Plan was delivering as was agreed.
“The public needs to know the Basin Plan is delivering the water it was intended to, and farmers need to know the Plan is working for as it should,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The Inspector-General can investigate suspected water theft, collect evidence and supply it to the authorities.
“Offices and staff to support the Inspector-General will be established in both the northern and southern basin.”
The Inspector-General will:
- Check on water recovery and delivery of water efficiency projects
- Monitor compliance and suspected water theft across the Basin; investigating and collecting evidence where appropriate
- Provide annual reports to the Minister for Water Resources; and
- Conduct community engagement on Basin Plan implementation.