Submissions due for inquiry into Commonwealth environmental water
April 9, 2018
The inquiry into the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water by House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy is underway, and submissions are due by April 12.
Under its terms of reference, the Committee is inquiring into the role of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder in:
maximising the use of environmental water for the protection and restoration of environmental assets;
considering innovative approaches for the use of environmental water;
monitoring and evaluating outcomes of the use of environmental water; and
options for improving community engagement and awareness of the way in which environmental water is managed.
The Chair of the Committee, Mr Andrew Broad MP, said the inquiry is an opportunity to understand how environmental water has been managed to date and to identify opportunities to improve the use of environmental water into the future.
“Rivers, floodplains, and wetlands are cornerstones of the Australian environment and support economic activity in regional communities across the country. Environmental water has an important role in ensuring that Australia’s river systems are sustained in the long term,”
“In launching this inquiry, the Committee is keen to understand how the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder makes decisions about when and where to use environmental water, and to examine how the water holder taps into local knowledge and uses the latest science in order to achieve genuine long-term environmental outcomes,” Mr Broad said.
“The Committee is not inquiring into the broader Murray–Darling Basin Plan, and we are not looking to duplicate the work already underway in this area. Our focus is on Commonwealth environmental water,” Mr Broad said.
The Deputy Chair of the Committee, Mr Pat Conroy MP, explained the Committee would also seek to ensure that environmental water is used efficiently.
“Commonwealth environmental water holdings represent a significant investment by the Australian public in our natural environment. As part of this inquiry, the Committee will examine the integrity of the management of environmental water and seek to ensure that environmental water is used efficiently and for the purpose for which it was acquired,” Mr Conroy said.