Inquiries And Submissions

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Inquiries And Submissions

As part of the GVIA's commitment to represent the interests of water entitlement holders' and the local community, we regularly participate in relevant Federal and State inquiries. Issue addressing any of our three core objectives are of utmost relevance to the GVIA.  In addition, our role is to provide feedback on policy and legislation pertinent to our industry and region.

Following are the links to the inquiries which the organisation has participated in in recent months.  For a link to past submissions, see our Archived Submissions.

Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill 2023

On 6 September 2023, the Australian Government introduced the Water Amendment (Restoring our Rivers) Bill 2023 into the House of Representatives.  The amendment bill is proposing significant amendments the Commonwealth Water Act 2007 and the Basin Plan. These amendments have the potential to significantly impact the livelihood of many regional communities across the Basin.  
On 7 September 2023, the Senate referred the Bill to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee is due to report by 8 November 2023.  
On the 29th September 2023 the GVIA submitted to this inquiry. Other submissions are available here.

Natural Resources Commission Review into the Water Sharing Plan for the Regulated Gwydir Source 2016

In September the GVIA made a submission to the NRC review into the Gwydir Regulated Water sharing plan. Withing the plan we made a number of recommendations associated with avoiding the use of section 324 temporary restrictions, a more detailed transparent framework to inform supplementary water events and their potential to contribute to the Barwon-Darling requirements. We raised concerns around the FPH zones and trade restrictions and on active management in the Mallowa Creek management zone. 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

On 7 August 2019 the Government announced that it would direct the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into markets for tradeable water rights in the Murray-Darling Basin. The ACCC will be asked to recommend options to enhance markets for tradeable water rights, including options to enhance their operations, transparency, regulation, competitiveness and efficiency.

The ACCC’s inquiry will consult with a wide range of water market participants and other persons involved in water markets in the Murray-Darling Basin. Information about consultation opportunities, including public hearings and how to make a submission to the inquiry.

The GVIA participated in the recent public forum at Narrabri, NSW.

For more information contact their website or to follow the inquiry via .

Our submission to the Issues Paper is available here.

Modernising the Research and Development Corporation System (Discussion paper) 

In November 2019, the GVIA provided their submission into the Federal Governments discussion paper into modernising the research and development corporation system, which is a unique industry-government partnership. We acknowledge the importance of finding ways to deliver value for money and to improve the value of research and development to our agricultural producers.

The GVIA believe that the existing smaller industry based RDC system is delivering good outcomes for levy payers and taxpayers, this is especially the case with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC).

Our full submission is available here.

Active Management of Environmental Water in the Gwydir Valley

Public exhibition of the proposed amendments to water sharing rules to protect environmental water used in-stream in the Gingham Watercourse Water Source and Mallowa Creek within the Gwydir unregulated water sharing plan was undertaken following the release of the Draft Active Managmeent Policy. 

An increased level of management, called active management is proposed in the Gingham Creek Water Source and the Mallowa Creek (within the Mehi River Water Source) to manage environmental water used in-stream for environmental purposes, referred to as active environmental water.

The GVIA participated in a number of targeted consultation sessions as well as the  submission process.  Our submissions on the proposal is available here.

Draft concept of Active Management.
Draft Active Managmeent Policy and WSP amendments.

NSW Water Reform Action Plan - consultation papers

On Tuesday, 13th March 2018 Minister for Regional Water, the Hon. Niall Blair announced the opportunity for consultation into the NSW Governments approach to water reform in NSW.   More information and documents can be accessed at  

The Minister released four separate discussion papers on key reforms to the state's policy on:

The GVIA developed a submission to the NSW Government following consultation with government, members and key local stakeholders like meter suppliers.  Our submission included 18 recommendations to government across each of the four key areas included in the consultation process as part of the action plan.
We support the NSW Government in making informed, balanced and decisive action to improve confidence in how water is being administered, managed and used in NSW.  We are actutely aware that to achieve this overall objective the NSW Government must make several critical steps, in a range of areas of its business.  We recognise that the NSW Water Reform Action Plan is just one of those steps in this process. 
We welcomed the genuine consultation approach by the NSW Government on the NSW Water Reform Action Plan, through the release of specific consultation papers and delivery of individualised, community consultation sessions around the State.  We were pleasantly surprised at the success of workshops attended by our members in Sydney, Bourke and Moree.
A summary of our key positions are available on the relevant policy pages or can be reviewed within our submission.
Our submission on the Water Reform Action Plan.

South Australian Royal Commission investigation into the Murray Darling Basin Plan

The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission was established by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia on 23 January 2018. The purpose of the Royal Commission is to investigate the operations and effectiveness of the Murray-Darling Basin system. 
The Royal Commissioner can obtain information for the inquiry by seeking relevant documents, taking evidence from people who have relevant experiences with the Murray-Darling Basin and receiving formal written submissions from people or organisations.
The terms of reference and issues papers are guiding the investigation.
Public consultation will be held in Moree on Thursday, 17th May at the Max Centre from 10:30am - 12pm.  The GVIA will be attending this session and is preparing to lodge a submission.
More information and to register is available
More local information on the water reform and the Basin Plan and Environmental Water Management is available on our website.

Productivity Commission's 5-year Review into the Murray Darling Basin Plan

The Productivity Commission is responsible under the Water Act 2007 (Cth) to undertake five-yearly assessments of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Basin Plan and water resource plans. This inquiry is the first such assessment to be conducted by the Commission. The terms of reference and issues paper guide the review.
The GVIA participated in community consultation session in Moree in April 2018 and provided a submission to the Commission in May 2018.  Our key messages were that much had been leant and achieved through the implementation of the Basin Plan in our region but there is always opportunities to improve.  We made no formal recommendation rather provided local evidence to address the relevant issues in the issues paper.
Our submission is now publicly available via the Productivity Commission's website.
More local information on the Basin Plan and Environmental Water Management is available on this website.

House of Representatives  Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy

Inquiry into 2016-17 annual report of the Department of the Environment and Energy particularly the management and use of Commonwealth Environmental Water.

The GVIA takes a keen interests in the management and use of environmental water and hence provided a submission to the inquiry in May 2018.  This submission mist be approved buy the committee before it can be made available.
Our key message was that much had been leant and achieved through the implementation of the Basin Plan in our region but there is always opportunities to improve.  We invited the committee to the region to talk with those involved in local planning process for the management and use of environmental water as well as inspect our internationally significant wetlands.
More local information on Environmental Water Management and the Gwydir Wetlands is available on this website.

House of Representative Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources

Inquiry into Water Use Efficiency
The GVIA is actively involved in commercial research into water use efficiency. Our involvement in this inquiry provided an opportunity to showcase eight years of research, as well as promote the industry positions and policy on the key issue of efficient water utilisation. We were also able to encourage and promote sustainable best management of the industry. The GVIA hosted members of the committee at a local research site, prepared a submission and actively participated at the Narrabri hearing.
GVIA Submission on WUE in Aust Ag.
Final report.
More information on our irrigation efficiency program is available on this website.

Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees

Inquiry into The operation, effectiveness, and consequences of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Location of Corporate Commonwealth Entities) Order 2016
The GVIA supports the principle behind the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Location of Corporate Commonwealth Entities) Order 2016 as a unique opportunity to provide multi-faceted, long-term benefits to regional economies. Such leadership from the Australian Government is required to help support communities' transition to diverse and resilient economies for future generations.
GVIA Senate Decentralisation Submission

Legislative Council Portfolio Committee No. 5 – Industry and Transport

Inquiry into the augmentation of water supply for rural and regional New South Wales

The impact of water reform and the increasing environmental water requirements on our regional economy have been significant, and both industry and the community are fatigued by such changes. We want all water users to make every drop count, not just industry.  We believe there is scope within the current frameworks to better plan for the use and supply of rural water and that continued improvements in environmental water management and an investment in complementary (non-flow) measures will ensure that the reforms will result in outcomes.
GVIA Submission on Water Augmentation in NSW.

Final report with Government response due November 2018.

Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References

Inquiry into the integrity of the water market in the Murray Darling Basin

The majority of media reporting that triggered national interest in the management of water resources in NSW, particularly the Barwon-Darling, failed to acknowledge and recognise Australia’s leadership in water management policies. The integrity and innovation reflected in such policy has delivered better social, environmental and economic outcomes globally.  Nor has the media recognised over 20 years of national water reform with the Basin Plan, preferring to focus only on the most recent step.  Reform has resulted in a trajectory that has left the irrigation industry and its communities' with less water, while increasing water availability for environmental outcomes.  Irrigators' in our region have been at the forefront of this reform and are, in all honesty, fatigued.

GVIA submission on integrity of the water market.

Investigations into the performance of Water Management in NSW

Related inquiries include Independent investigation into the issues raised by the ABC’s 4 Corners program on 24 July, 2017.

Making Every Drop Count

Securing a future for the Gwydir Valley through Irrigated Agriculture.