Compliance report shows Victoria has met its water commitments

By Jamie Salter

A new compliance report released by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority found Victoria has completed 100 per cent of its water commitments.

NSW has completed 96 per cent, Queensland 90 per cent, South Australia 89 per cent and 50 per cent have been completed by the ACT.

This has caused concerns over the transparency and clarity of metering requirements.

The Compliance Compact report was released last Thursday by the MDBA to ensure Murray-Darling Basin governments meet their commitments.

MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde said the Compliance Compact was developed in 2018 to improve accountability.

“In the past 12 months, governments across the basin have improved their policies and their practices on the ground,” Mr Glyde said.

“This is to be applauded, and I would recommend they continue to prioritise the completion of their commitments in 2020, to achieve the transparency and accountability the community expects.

“It is important, for example, that all signatories continue on the path to completing and implementing their new metering policies to ensure that compliant meters are installed by 2025.”

Mr Glyde said the diversion of resources to address the drought has affected the delivery of state government programs.

The Independent Assurance Committee was established in 2018 to provide independent, expert advice on MDBA's compliance obligations and found four of the MDBA's 31 actions were not complete.

The actions included publishing and maintaining a register of basin state measures to better protect environmental water, developing a system for real time advice on environmental watering, an annual quality assurance report on hydrometric data for the Murray River system, and practice notes on the measurement of floodplain harvesting.

“Work on these actions is under way but requires greater effort to progress and will be given greater priority in 2020,” Mr Glyde said.

The Compliance Compact will be reviewed in mid-2020.

The Murray-Darling Basin Compliance Compact Assurance Report 2019 is available at: www.mdba.gov.au/publications/independent-reports/basin-compliance-compact