ACT Minister for Water, Shane Rattenbury, has welcomed the announcement from the Federal Government that they have reached an agreement to implement the Murray Darling Basin Plan in full.
"Like so many Australians, I want to see a healthy Murray-Darling River system that supports a diversity of life, restores significant ecological and cultural sites and demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration and world leading environmental stewardship," said Mr Rattenbury.
"The lack of meaningful progress over the past decade has been deeply frustrating and disappointing, especially for those living alongside the river and for First Nations peoples with an ongoing connection to these lands and waters.
"It is promising to see the commitment of the current Federal Government to delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full. The ACT Government remains strongly supportive of delivering the Plan. Given the lack of progress to date, delays in delivering major commitments in the Plan are now unavoidable. Our focus must now turn to getting on with the job of delivering the Plan with renewed focus and determination.
"I strongly believe there must be increasing accountability and transparency as the Plan is implemented, through enhanced auditing, reporting and independent oversight. I will continue to advocate for greater accountability as the Plan is implemented, and as the upcoming review of the Plan progresses, and for the delivery of cultural flows and greater participation of First Nations peoples in river management and decision making.
"The Murray-Darling River system is the life blood of Australia and is vital for so many communities and so many species. We will continue to cooperate to improve the health of this important, and highly degraded, river system and to deliver the best possible outcomes for Basin communities," said Mr Rattenbury.