The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has announced yet another delay to the release of its long overdue proposed Basin Plan.
The latest delay comes just one day after the COAG Reform Council warned that any further extension of timeframes for the proposed Basin Plan‘s delivery was a key risk to future reform milestones.
“The Council has identified two key risks to future reform milestones linked to the Basin Plan:
·         The risk that timeframes for delivering the proposed Basin Plan will be extended further
·         The lack of an integrated approach by both levels of government to developing and implementing the Basin Plan”
COAG Reform Council, Water Management Partnerships: Performance report for 2010, p. 20
The proposed Basin Plan was originally 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. Next it was announced that the proposed Basin Plan would not be released before mid-October. A promise of a mid-November release followed shortly after – and in fact was still on the Authority’s website this afternoon – and now we are told that the release will occur at the end of November.
“This is the latest in a long series of delays and further risks that the final Basin Plan will not be ready in 2012 as promised,” Coalition Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.
“This delay simply extends the uncertainty for communities up and down the Basin who are anxious to see the details of the proposed Basin Plan.
“With the continual delays to the Basin Plan process and failure of the Government to progress water-saving infrastructure projects it seems we are wasting opportunities provided by the floods to prepare for tougher times in the future.
“The Authority should explain why yet another delay is necessary, although if more time is required to deliver a fair and robust proposed Basin Plan based on science then so be it.
“I hope communities can have more faith in this latest November 28 release date than they have been able to in the previous four release timings.”