Introduction — the purpose of the Guide
The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (the Authority) is preparing the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan to present proposals to the community for discussion. These proposals are about the key decisions the Authority is required to make under the Water Act 2007 (Cwlth), in particular the new limits on water that can be taken from the Basin, known as long-term average sustainable diversion limits (SDLs), which will apply to both surface water and groundwater. The proposed Basin Plan (a legislative instrument) will be released later this year or early next year. This document sets out proposals on the main issues in the plan.
The Authority is endorsing the issuing of the overview, noting that it represents a set of proposals based on the information provided to the Authority by its staff, state and federal governments, stakeholders, consultants and others. A technical background to the Guide (volume 2) provides greater scientific detail, with 19 regional guides dealing with the specifics of each region and the proposals as they affect each region. Volume 2 and the regional guides are being approved for release by the chief executive. The Authority is interested in the views of the community and stakeholders on the proposals in the Guide and on the quality of data and evidence used and the analysis that has been undertaken. The Authority will consider any feedback in finalising the Basin Plan.