Productivity Commission backs Government’s approach to rescue the Murray-Darling Basin Plan

Dept of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water

The Albanese Government has today released the final report of the Productivity Commission’s implementation review of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The Productivity Commission’s Review confirms that the Basin Plan was failing under the Liberals and Nationals and supports the Government’s approach to rescue the Plan. The Report states “recent amendments to the Basin Plan and Water Act provide necessary timeframe extensions and allow for new supply measures and voluntary water purchases.”

The Restoring Our Rivers Bill passed in November provides more time, more money, more accountability and more options to deliver the Plan.

Last month, the Government opened the Resilient Rivers Program for participating states to bring forward new water savings projects and began consultation on its draft framework to deliver the 450 GL of water for the environment.

With Basin states and territories, the Federal Government is safeguarding the river system for communities, industry, First Nations groups and the environment that depend upon it.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“Unlike the Liberals and Nationals, we are determined to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full. And this report shows that under the previous government the Plan was woefully off-track.

“The Murray-Darling Basin supports more than 3 million Australians and is a critical resource for the survival of industry, First Nations groups and the environment.

“With another drought around the corner, we are getting straight to work to put the Basin Plan back on track by providing more time, more funding, more options, more accountability and more transparency.

“This report shows we are on the right track to ensure a healthy and sustainable river system for generations to come.”


Under the Water Act, the Productivity Commission is required to undertake 5-yearly assessments of implementation of the Basin Plan and water resource plans.

The full report is available on the Productivity Commission website.

Find the report here: Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Implementation review 2023 – Public inquiry – Productivity Commission (

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