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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11566

Murray-Darling Basin Plan

(Question No. 1127)

Ms Sharkie asked the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, in writing, on 13 September 2018:

Has the Murray-Darling Basin Authority undertaken a review of climate change risks on the Basin, as required under the Basin Plan 2012; if so, can the Government provide a copy; if not, why not, and when will this review be undertaken.

Mr Littleproud: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The MDBA has not conducted a review of climate change risks on the Basin since the Basin Plan was finalised.

As part of its development, the MDBA considered the impact of climate on the proposed Basin Plan by analysing its performance across 114 years of climate records. This long climatic sequence takes into account the extremes of climate experienced in the past, including three prolonged drought periods (the 'Federation' drought around 1900, the 'World War Two' drought around 1940, and the recent Millennium drought) and has a similar mean annual rainfall and mean annual runoff as recent decades.

Under the Water Act 2007, the MDBA is required to review the Basin Plan in 2026, or earlier if requested by the Minister, or all Basin States. A review of climate change risks will be undertaken as part of this review. The MDBA may of its own accord also conduct a review before this time.