Seven water sharing plans nearing the end of the 10 year terms will be extended to allow for a review, Department of Primary Industries Water acting deputy director general Dr Christobel Ferguson has announced.
She said the Lower Gwydir, Upper and Lower Namoi, Lower Macquarie, Lower Murrumbidgee and Lower Murray groundwater plans, as well as the plan for the Paterson Regulated River, were due to expire in June 2017.
The Lower Lachlan groundwater plan, which is due to expire in June 2018, has also been extended.
‘‘After considering advice provided by the Natural Resources Commission, it is appropriate to make some changes to all of these plans,’’ Dr Ferguson said.
‘‘The extension to these water sharing plans will allow a review of plan outcomes, enabling current science and knowledge to be incorporated, and provides an opportunity to improve monitoring, evaluation and reporting. This process will also enable further community input.’’
Dr Ferguson said work would be undertaken to ensure that the replacement plans would be consistent with the current legislative and policy framework, including the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Consultation for the replacement of the six inland alluvial water sharing plans will be part of the development of water resource plans in these areas. For the Paterson Regulated River Plan replacement consultation will be targeted initially to affected stakeholders.
The plans will be extended for up to two years.