Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Murray-Darling Basin Amendment Bill 2003

Bill home page  


Download WordDownload Word


Download PDFDownload PDF

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MURRAY-DARLING BASIN AMENDMENT BILL 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Agriculture,

Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon Warren Truss, MP)

 

MURRAY-DARLING BASIN AMENDMENT BILL 2002

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The main purpose of the Bill is to amend the Murray-Darling Basin Act 1993 (the "Principal Act") to approve and give effect to the Murray-Darling Basin Amending Agreement between the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia ("Amending Agreement") to amend the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement ("Agreement").

The effect of the Amending Agreement is to make new arrangements for sharing water made available in the River Murray catchment above Hume Dam by the Snowy Scheme.  The Amending Agreement is subject to the approval of the Parliament of each party to the Amending Agreement.

The original Agreement was made on 24 June 1992 between the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.  It was subsequently approved by the Parliament of each party.  The purpose of the Agreement is to promote and co-ordinate effective planning and management for the equitable efficient and sustainable use of the water, land and environmental resources of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Broadly, the Amending Agreement:



removes references to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority (whose functions were transferred to a new corporation on 28 June 2002) and the associated Snowy Mountains Agreement;



·          amends Part XII of the Agreement to require the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to determine the respective allocations to New South Wales and Victoria of water from the Snowy Scheme in a manner set out in a new schedule G;

·          adds a new schedule G to the Agreement to make arrangements for the sharing between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia of water made available in the catchment of the River Murray above Hume Dam by the Snowy Scheme;

·          protects Victoria's and South Australia’s rights to water from the River Murray if New South Wales fails to ensure either the release of environmental entitlements to the Snowy River or the required annual releases from the Snowy Scheme to the River Murray;

·          enables the transfer of water savings and purchases to environmental entitlements for the Snowy River and the River Murray and makes reductions in the respective States’ long term Murray-Darling Basin diversion caps;

·          requires the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council to develop environmental objectives and a strategy for environmental water that will be made available to the River Murray as a result of the Snowy Water Inquiry, and requires the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to manage this environmental water in accordance with the strategy;

·          requires governments to inform the Murray-Darling Basin Commission of proposals to achieve water savings or to purchase water entitlements for environmental entitlements; and

·          establishes the necessary additional water accounting, notification, consultation and modelling mechanisms that will be the responsibility of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. 

 

Financial Impact Statement

 

The Murray-Darling Basin Amendment Bill 2002 will not have any financial impact for the Commonwealth.



NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short title

1.    This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the Murray-Darling Basin Amendment Act 2002

Clause 2: Commencement

2.    This clause provides that the provisions of the Act, other than Schedule 1, will commence on Royal Assent.  Schedule 1 is to commence on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.  The Commonwealth does not propose to commence Schedule 1 until the Parliaments of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have also approved the Murray-Darling Basin Amending Agreement.  Consequently, no time limit has been placed on Proclamation.

Clause 3: Schedule(s)

3.    This clause provides that the Murray-Darling Basin Act 1993 and any other Act that may be specified in a Schedule are to be amended as set out in the Schedule(s) to the Act.

SCHEDULE 1 - AMENDMENT OF THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN ACT 1993

Clauses 1 to 3:  Amendments to Subsection 3(1) (definition of Agreement )

4.    These clauses amend subsection 3(1) of the Principal Act to:

·            substitute a new definition of "Agreement" so that it includes the Agreement as amended by the Amending Agreement; 

·            insert a definition of "Amending Agreement";

·            insert a definition of “Original Agreement”. 

Clause 4: Amendment to Section 5

5.    This clause changes the approval of the Agreement to refer to approval of the “Original Agreement” as defined by the amendments to subsection 3(1).

Clause 5: New Section 5A

6.    This clause inserts a new section 5A into the Principal Act providing that the Amending Agreement is approved by the Parliament. 

Clause 6: Schedule (heading and note to heading)

7.    This clause substitutes a new heading to the Schedule to the Principal Act so that it becomes Schedule 1.  Schedule 1 contains the text of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement as agreed on 24 June 1992. 

Clause 7: At the end of the Act

8.    This clause inserts a new Schedule 2 to the Principal Act.  Schedule 2 contains the text of the Murray-Darling Basin Amending Agreement.