The Andrews Government says it has secured a major win for Victorian communities and the environment, with a key water target met under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The agreement reached at the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council meeting in Canberra on Friday signed off on up to 650Gl worth of environmental works and measures to meet the plan’s target of 2750Gl.
‘‘This a great outcome for the Murray-Darling Basin — balancing the needs of the environment, farmers, local communities and towns,’’ Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville said.
‘‘Achieving the 2750Gl basin plan target is an important milestone, that has been achieved while we continue to support prosperous, liveable communities in regional Victoria.’’
The Victorian Government also stressed the need for the comprehensive socio-economic review of water savings measures, to look at the real impacts of the the plan’s implementation so far, as well as any further measures to recover an additional 450Gl with neutral or positive socio-economic impact.
Ms Neville was also successful in further investigating the inclusion and recognition of Aboriginal values for water under the plan — which is already happening in Victoria through the government’s Water for Victoria framework.
The meeting also saw Victoria secure an agreement to withdraw the existing Goulburn River constraints project as a supply measure under the plan and will now develop a new Goulburn constraints project that must be accepted by the community, be feasible and based on improved data and on-the-ground knowledge.
Ministers the meeting also agreed to implement the Northern Basin Review in Queensland and NSW — provided this did not have any environmental, social or economic impacts on southern basin states.