For the second week in a row a delay to the release of the proposed Basin Plan has been announced.
?Originally the proposed Basin Plan was to be released in mid-2010. It was then promised that release would occur in early 2011. The promised release date was then pushed back to August 2011. Last week it was announced that the proposed Basin Plan would not be released before mid-October.
?Today Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Chair Craig Knowles has announced that the proposed Basin Plan will now be released in November and will be followed by a 20 week public consultation period.
?This latest delay puts the Plan at least 16 months behind the original schedule.
Despite the now weekly delays, Mr Knowles might still be being optimistic about the timeline for the release of the final Basin Plan – the MDBA has previously stated that processes following release of the proposed Basin Plan “… could take in the order of 40-50 weeks, if there’s a reasonable level of agreement to the Plan, and much longer if there is significant disagreement at the Ministerial Council level”.
?We now may not see the final Basin Plan until late 2012, if not 2013.
?If extra time is what’s required to get the proposed Basin Plan right, ensure all evidence used is robust and deliver a good, fair plan for the future then so be it.
?However, Basin communities have a right to know when the Plan will actually be released and their frustration at continual delays is certainly understandable.