WESA to be reviewed

By Rodney Woods

A review into the Water for the Environment Special Account will be conducted to evaluate whether current resources are adequate to achieve the Murray-Darling Basin Plan target of 450Gl of additional environmental water and to ease or remove constraints by 2024.

The WESA was established with $1.775 billion over 10 years, of which $1.575 billion is projected to fund the recovery of 450Gl of environmental water with neutral or improved socio-economic outcomes.

The rest of allocated funds in the WESA will contribute to the easing or removal of constraints to deliver the environmental water.

A three-person independent panel has been appointed by the Water Resources Minister David Littleproud to conduct the first of those reviews.

The three panellists, Sally Farrier (chair), Simon Lewis AO PSM and Merran Kelsall FCPA FCA, bring a wealth of expertise and experience in Commonwealth water matters, spanning public and private sectors, and including expertise in policy, engineering, infrastructure, governance, audit, risk, finance and the water sector.

As well as evaluating the WESA resources, the panel will review the progress made to date and consider the anticipated work required to reach the target by 2024.

They will also consider whether the design of projects is likely to be effective.

The first review will be completed by early 2020.

The panel will undertake consultation with stakeholders to inform the review, including inviting submissions from the public.

Information about the review is available on the department’s website: