The Murray-Darling Basin Agreement
The Murray-Darling Basin Agreement replaced the earlier River Murray Waters Agreement which had been in place since 1915 (see A Brief History of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement). The Murray-Darling Basin Agreement provides the process and substance for the integrated management of the Murray-Darling Basin. The purpose of the Agreement (Clause 1) is:
"to promote and co-ordinate effective planning and management for the equitable efficient and sustainable use of the water, land and other environmental resources of the Murray-Darling Basin."
The Agreement was signed by the governments of the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia in 1987. In its initial form, it was as an amendment - the final one - to the River Murray Waters Agreement. Five years later, a totally new Murray-Darling Basin Agreement was signed in 1992, replacing the River Murray Waters Agreement. The new Agreement was given full legal status by the Murray-Darling Basin Act 1993 passed by all the contracting governments. Queensland also became a signatory in 1996, under terms set out in Schedule D to the Agreement. In 1998, the Australian Capital Territory formalised its participation in the Agreement through a Memorandum of Understanding. The Agreement was ratified by identical legislation that has been enacted by the Parliaments of all the signatory governments.
The Agreement established new institutions at the political, bureaucratic and community levels to underpin its implementation, ie
The Agreement sets out the objectives, functions and composition of the new institutions and the procedures to be followed for natural resource management, water distribution, asset management and financial disbursements.
The complete text of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement (June 1992, with additions to July 1999) are available in the archives
Murray-Darling Basin Agreement Consistency Review Issues Analysis
Content on this Page was current at 10/01/2007