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BARWON-

BARWON-DARLING WATER
formerly Mungindi-Menindee Advisory Council

15th May 2012

Hon Katrina Hodgkinson, MP


Minister for Primary Industries

SYDNEY NSW 2000


Email: @hodgkinson.minister.nsw.gov.au

Dear Minister

Re: Draft Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the latest recommendations from the Barwon-
Darling Interagency Regional Panel (IRP) regarding the BD Water Sharing Plan.

We have a small number of suggested amendments that we wish to bring to your attention.

Aside from these there is also the unresolved issue of the Cap Management Plan developed for
the Barwon-Darling River.

At a meeting with you and Kevin Humphries on 15th February 2012 we understood that this
issue would be reviewed in the light of the original cap agreement signed off by a former
Minister, the DPI’s current Director-General, your Department, the former Murray-Darling
Basin Commission and community representatives from the Barwon-Darling.

We understand there has been further work done on the Barwon-Darling IQQ Model that may
be helpful, and we are confident that the present water year will show another cap credit on the
Barwon-Darling.

We trust that these two positive developments will lead to a return to the plan that was
developed and agreed by all stakeholders after many years of effort.

On the other outstanding matters, we wish to draw you attention the attached recommendations
developed by the Interagency Regional Panel (IRP) regarding the BD Water Sharing Plan:

1. Nothwithstanding clauses 1 - the IRP wants to replace the “notwithstanding” clause with
a series of “Access” clauses eg: “Access for survival watering”. These provisions will not
replace the intent & meaning of the “nothwithstanding” clause that currently attaches to
all licences on the Barwon-Darling. This matter is discussed at length in the submission

BOURKE NSW 2840 1


PH: FAX:
EMAIL: @darlingfarms.com.au
that we made to you last year – as “Major Concern No 5. We believe it is vital that the
original notwithstanding clauses are retained on our licences.
2. Access for stock watering the relevant clause is important for those people who take
water for stock without access to basic right water. We believe that NOW should consult
directly with those individuals affected by this clause before it is included.
3. Flow thresholds - the provisions made to amend to flow thresholds after the first five
years of the plan is a major concern. We believe this has been inserted because of issues
relating to identified threatened species. While the clause has conditions and safeguards,
we are not confident that this will be used to further restrict access and damage the
irrigation industry in our region. Little scientific inquiry has been carried out on the
existing access rules established in 2000 (as promised); and to lift pumping heights rather
than look at habitat issues and the impact of introduced species seems to be a cop-out.
Water use on the Barwon-Darling is controlled by cap limits and the environmental flow
rules; both developed and agreed by a range stakeholders – including NOW, other
government agencies, irrigators, local government reps, riparian users, community
representatives and environmentalists. The draft plan also notes, under Clause 17 2(b) that
“the long-term average annual commitment of water to the environment in the Barwon-
Darling River Water Source has been estimated to be 2,607GL per year. This equates to
approx. 94% of the long-term average annual flow in this water source”. In these happy
circumstances, of low extractions and low impacts, there is no logic in further restrictions.
The Interagency Regional Panel & NOW have noted in their recommendations “A review
of environmental monitoring and associated research of the flow access thresholds
adopted in 2000/01 revealed that these thresholds have and will continue to deliver in-
stream environmental benefits for the Barwon-Darling River.” On this basis, we believe
this provision should be taken out of the plan.
4. The IRP has recommended changing the dealing rules to allow trade in account water up
and down the river without restriction, while trading of cap share is restricted to original
AVL numbers. We support this recommendation.
A copy of our original submission which discusses these issues in more detail is attached.

We trust that you will take steps support these suggested amendments.

Yours sincerely

Chairman

BOURKE NSW 2840 2


PH: FAX:
EMAIL: @darlingfarms.com.au
Barwon-Darling Interagency Regional Panel

Summary of recommended changes to the draft Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-
Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources post public exhibition

Recognising historical notwithstanding access in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water


source

Access for survival watering

The IRP recommends that A class licences may access the low flow class, or no flow class from Bourke weir pool
(i.e. the pool in direct connection to the Bourke Weir face), for the first five years of the plan on application for
survival watering of permanent plantings, provided that:
 the licence to which the application relates is included in a schedule to the plan. The schedule will include
licences arising from Water Act 1912 licences at commencement of the plan and their associated defined
areas (ha) of permanent plantings

 water is to be extracted at a defined rate (ML/ha/day) for survival watering of defined areas of permanent
plantings provided in the schedule (this rate will assume other cultural practice are being used to reduce
water requirements, e.g. radical canopy pruning)

 a note is included in the plan to encourage A class licensees to investigate alternative reliability measures
during the first five years of the plan, where feasible, such as capacity sharing of a joint off-river storage or
connection to reticulated town water supplies

 the Minister has consulted with relevant Government agencies and stakeholders

 the granting of the application remains at the discretion of Minister, who may

o deny access based on unacceptable downstream or local impacts on the environment, high priority
or other water users

o deny access if the applicant has breached their licence conditions in the past

o require specific records of extraction to be kept and provided

Access for A class licences when flows are imminent

The IRP recommends that A class licences may access the low flow class or the no flow class on application when
flows are imminent provided that:
 the water is to be pumped direct to crop
 the licence to which the application relates arose from a Water Act 1912 entitlement at commencement of
the plan

 the volume of water in the artificial pool (i.e. a pool in direct connection to a weir face) remains greater than
50 per cent

 the Minister has consulted with relevant Government agencies and stakeholders

 the Minister considers that

o an A class flow is expected within three weeks

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Barwon-Darling Interagency Regional Panel PUBLIC EXHIBITION OUTCOMES

o the granting of the application would not cause any unacceptable impacts on downstream higher
priority users (i.e. the environment, local water utilities, stock and domestic and basic landholder
rights), with due recognition for any other existing or pending applications for access to the low flow
class or no flow class

o the applicant has operated in accordance with licence conditions


 water to be taken from the low flow class is taken at a maximum rate of 0.6 ML/day

 after water has been extracted from the low or no flow class, water is not permitted to be taken in A class
until flows have been in A class for a defined number of hours, equivalent to the number of hours that water
was taken from the low or no flow class

 access to the low or no flow class is subject to any other restrictions imposed by the Minister, e.g. that water
is to be extracted
o to a maximum total volume

o at defined rates (e.g. number of pumping hours per day, or a maximum volume per day), and/or

o for a defined period of time, to a maximum of 10 days

Access for B class licences when flows are imminent

The IRP recommends that B class licences may access the no flow class on application when flows are imminent
provided that:
 the water is to be used for the last or second last watering of a crop, to be pumped direct to crop
 the licence to which the application relates arose from a Water Act 1912 entitlement at commencement of
the plan

 the volume of water in the artificial pool (i.e. a pool in direct connection to a weir face) remains greater than
50 per cent

 the Minister has consulted with relevant Government agencies and stakeholders
 the Minister considers that

o a B class flow is expected within two weeks

o the granting of the application would not cause any unacceptable impacts on local higher priority
users (i.e. the environment, local water utilities, stock and domestic and basic landholder rights),
with due recognition for any other existing or pending applications for access to the no flow class

o the applicant has operated in accordance with licence conditions

 after water has been extracted from the no flow class, water is not permitted to be taken in B class until flows
have been in B class for a defined number of hours, equivalent to the number of hours that water was taken
from the no flow class
 access to the no flow class is subject to any other restrictions imposed by the Minister, e.g. that water is to
be extracted

o to a maximum total volume


o at defined rates (e.g. number of pumping hours per day, or a maximum volume per day), and/or

o for a defined period of time, to a maximum of 10 days

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Barwon-Darling Interagency Regional Panel PUBLIC EXHIBITION OUTCOMES

Access for stock watering

The State Interagency Panel (SIP) has endorsed a policy position that applies across NSW for stock access to the
very low flow class i.e. access below the CtP. This includes; for the first five years of a plan, access to the very low
flow class for stock watering under a domestic and stock access licence at a maximum rate of 14 litres per hectare
of grazeable land. Note that this policy position will be reviewed before year 5 to inform whether or not the
exemption should continue beyond year five. Note also that the IRP can endorse more stringent rules for stock, but
not less stringent. Hence any less stringent rule would need to be endorsed by the SIP, rather than the IRP.

The IRP recommends that access to the no flow class for stock watering under a domestic and stock access licence
be limited to:
 14 litres per hectare of grazeable area per day
 0.6 ML/day(average pump rate of a 2 inch pump)
 pipe and trough reticulation systems

The IRP recommended that access to the low flow class for stock watering under a domestic and stock access
licence be limited to:
 0.6 ML/day(average pump rate of a 2 inch pump)

The IRP also recommends that the NSW Office of Water ask the SIP to extend access to the no flow class for stock
watering in the Barwon-Darling to the life of the plan with the above limitations, making it consistent with the level of
access provided under certain circumstances to A and B class licences.

Amendment to flow classes in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source


The IRP recommends that the plan include provisions to amend the existing flow classes and access rules,
establish new or additional flow classes and flow reference points after year five of the plan for any management
zone in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source following a study that shows to the satisfaction of the
Minister that the current access rules are having an adverse impact on an endangered aquatic ecological
community in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source, or an individual listed threatened fish species
within that community, provided that:
 such amendments do not apply to domestic and stock access licences and local water utility access licences
 in the Minister’s opinion, such amendments do not substantially alter the long-term diversions under A Class,
B Class and C Class access licences in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source

 the socio-economic impacts of the proposed rules have been taken into account, and

 the Minister has consulted with relevant Government agencies and stakeholders.

The IRP recommends that the same requirements for the amendment listed above be applied to amendment
clauses relating to Aboriginal cultural assets and changes to the interim North West Unregulated Flow Plan.

Cap management in the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source


The NSW Office of Water informs the IRP that the Office of Water surface water implementation unit is continuing to
provide briefing materials on future Barwon-Darling Cap management options through the Office of Water executive
to the Minister for Primary Industries. Based on this advice, the Minister for Primary Industries will resolve an
appropriate approach for Barwon-Darling Cap management to be included in the plan when made.

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Barwon-Darling Interagency Regional Panel PUBLIC EXHIBITION OUTCOMES

Individual daily extraction limits for the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source

Method for establishing IDELs

The IRP recommends that the plan assign licences that arose from Water Act 1912 entitlement on commencement
of the plan an individual daily extraction limit (IDEL) equal to the maximum of:
 the sum of average pump capacities as determined by the Office of Water for all authorised pumps attached
to each Water Act 1912 entitlement at commencement of the plan, excluding 85SL105065, which will be
based on the sum of average pump capacities as determined by the Office of Water for all authorised pumps
attached 85SA000852, 85SA001091, 85SA001705, 85SL033742, 85SL036564, 85SL036666, 85SL039847,
85SL040124 and 85SL045977 as at 1/12/2010, or
 the sum of State Water Corporation agreed pumping rates for any installed pumps attached to the Water Act
1912 entitlement at commencement of the plan.

The IRP also recommends that the plan


 assign licences that did not arise from a Water Act 1912 entitlement on commencement of the plan an IDEL
of 0 ML/day.

 permit the Minister to amend an IDEL during the plan term if it is proven, on application, that the sum of
pump capacities for works authorised by the Water Act 1912 entitlement (as defined in a schedule to the
plan) is greater than the IDEL defined above.

 establish total daily extraction limits in words based on the sum of IDELs for each section and class.

The IRP notes that the Office of Water will include notional IDELs based on the above method will be included in
background document to the plan upon commencement and only established when management systems are in
place.

IDELs and trade

The IRP recommends that nominal IDEL rights will be retained by the seller as a result of dealings that occur before
IDELs are established under the plan, unless an access licence is cancelled as the result of a dealing, in which
case the IDEL associated with that access licence will also be cancelled.

The IRP notes that the implications for nominal IDEL rights will be communicated by the Office of Water licensing
staff to any licensee buying/selling share component prior to any trade being processed.

Dealings rules for the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source


The IRP recommends that the plan permit concessional conversions (under section 71O) within river sections and
between river sections (provided the dealings does not cause the total share component held in a river section and
class to exceed total AVL at commencement of the plan for that river section and class) for a defined period from
plan commencement consistent with the period originally suggested in association with the 2006 Heads of
Agreement on Cap management.

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Barwon-Darling Interagency Regional Panel PUBLIC EXHIBITION OUTCOMES

The IRP recommends that the plan include the following provisions prior to IDELs being established:
 No restrictions on assignment of allocation (71T)
 No restrictions on assignment of rights (71Q) or nomination of works (71W) within a river section

 Assignment of rights (71Q) and nomination of works (71W) permitted between river sections provided it does
not cause total share component held in a river section and class to exceed total AVL at commencement of
the plan for that river section and class.

The IRP recommends that the plan include the following provisions once IDELs are established:
 No restrictions on nomination of works (71W), assignment of allocation (71T) or assignment of rights (71Q)
 No trades in extraction component (71S) between river sections.

The IRP recommends that the plan include all other dealing rules as previously endorsed and proposed in the draft
plan, plus provisions to permit:
 concessional conversions (71O) from C class to C class (in order to retain existing access conditions)
 assignment of allocation (71T) to a higher class.

Water sharing rules for identified Aboriginal cultural assets


The IRP recommends that the plan allow for the granting of supplementary (Aboriginal environmental) water access
licences within the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source, with the following provisions:
 the total shares of supplementary (Aboriginal environmental) access licences issued in the unregulated river
water source must not exceed 2,000 megalitres

 the share component of any supplementary (Aboriginal environmental) access licence issued must not
exceed 500 megalitres

 the maximum available water determination is 100 per cent, annual accounting with no carryover

 access rules are defined for each management zone based on the frequency of the lowest level of floodplain
breakout under a long-term ‘natural’ model simulation of flows

 the taking of water must be authorised by an order under section 70 of the Water Management Act 2000,
which will only be made:
o if the licensee has lodged an expression of interest (EOI) to take all or part of their share at least a
week before they require access

o access granted to EOIs is in preferential order, firstly from lowest to highest frequency of historical
access under s. 70 and secondly in chronological order of receipt

o if the order will not cause the total volume of water authorised to be taken by supplementary
(Aboriginal environmental) water access licences in that water year to exceed 500 megalitres

o that the plan allow for amendment of the rules governing supplementary (Aboriginal environmental)
water access licences, should they not achieve the intended sharing of access among Aboriginal
groups.

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Barwon-Darling Interagency Regional Panel PUBLIC EXHIBITION OUTCOMES

Other issues
The IRP notes that the following additional changes will be made to the draft plan by the Office of Water:
 a note will be added that any approval to augment or enhance a weir will need to be consistent with the
Fisheries Management Act 1994 and the NSW weirs policy

 a WSP IQQM run will be used to estimate both the volume of the LTAAEL and the water reserved for the
environment, but this will not change the LTAAEL estimate included in the draft plan

 the registered map will label the endpoints of each management zone

 a new licence category, for water table and salinity management, will be included. Licences may be granted
in this category in the alluvial groundwater source, including a licence for the existing Upper Darling Salt
Interception Scheme

The IRP recommends that the plan objectives recognise that socio-economic impacts were considered during the
development of the plan.

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Contact: Daniel Connor
Phone:
Fax:
Email: @water.nsw.gov.au

Dear Sir/Madam

Subject: Submission on draft Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and
Alluvial Water Sources
Thank you for your submission regarding the draft Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling
Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources (the draft Plan).
Each of the issues raised in individual submissions were considered and as a result, the draft Plan
was refined prior to the final Plan (the Plan) being submitted for approval to commence. Please
find following a list of the major changes to water sharing rules as a result of public exhibition.
Further details of these changes and their reasoning have been thoroughly documented in the
Background Document to the Plan which is available through the Office of Water webpage. Copies
of the Background Document can be printed from the Dubbo office on request.
Barwon-Darling Unregulated River Water Source
1. Recognising historical ‘notwithstanding’ access
The Plan now permits limited access below the relevant cease-to-pump height for A and B class
licences in situations when a flow event is imminent and for the survival watering of permanent
plantings.
An amending provision has also been added to allow additional rules for access below the relevant
cease-to-pump to be established for any purpose where written approval had been historically
given under Water Act 1912 conditions. Note that any amendment to the Plan must be approved
by the Minister for Primary Industries with concurrence from the Minister for the Environment and
must also undergo consultation with relevant Government agencies and stakeholders.
2. Cap management
The Plan now includes the ability for the Minister to implement an individual take limit equal to
300% of share component, which applies over 3 consecutive water years as a reactive short-term
Cap management response, should the MDBA determine that the Barwon-Darling sub-valley is in
breach of Cap under schedule E of the MDB Agreement. Note that both the draft Plan proposals of
an individual take limit equal to 450% of Cap share applying over three consecutive water years
from commencement of the Plan and the Minister’s ability to reduce AWDs for A,B and C class
licences as a short-term Cap management response, have now been removed from the Plan.
3. Individual Daily Extraction Limits

NSW Office of Water | www.water.nsw.gov.au |


The Plan now includes rules that allow Individual Daily Extraction Limits to be established and
amended for A, B and C class licences equal to the maximum known capacity of works (pump size
and type) authorised at the commencement of the Plan.
4. Licensed stock access to the low and no low flow class
The Plan now includes that licensed stock access to the:
 low flow class is limited to a maximum rate of 0.6 ML/d, and
 no low flow class is restricted to pipe and trough reticulation systems and limited to a
maximum rate of 0.6 ML/d, for the first 5 yrs of the Plan after which it ceases.
An amending provision has also been added to the Plan to allow the licensed stock exemption to
the no low flow class to extend beyond year 5.
5. Access rules
An amending provision has been added to allow changes to be made to the cease-to-pump rules if
the current rules are shown to be adversely affecting the Lower Darling Endangered Ecological
Community or any threatened species of native fish within it. Note also that it is a requirement of
the Plan that changes to access rules do not significantly reduce the long-term diversions under A,
B and C class licences.
6. Rules for Granting Access Licences
The Plan now allows for the granting of supplementary (Aboriginal environmental) access licences
(up to 2,000 ML) to Aboriginal people. These licences are intended to assist Aboriginal people to
‘water’ culturally significant floodplain wetlands for the purpose of helping to restore their Aboriginal
cultural values. Up to 500 ML will be made available annually among these licences following an
expression of interest and prioritisation process designed to equitably share access among
different holders of these licences. Water use by this category of licence will be accounted for as
non-consumptive use outside the Long-Term Average Annual Extraction Limit (LTAAEL)
established by the Plan.
7. Dealing Rules
The Plan now includes that
 conversions between licences in different licence categories (concessional conversions)
are permitted for the first 5 yrs of the Plan,
 allocation assignments (account water) between licences within a licence class in different
river sections or to a higher class (i.e. B to C class) are permitted, and
 rights assignments (share component) from a C class licence to a C class licence with a
lower cease-to-pump condition are permitted, if the existing C class licence has a
concessional conversion limit with the lower cease-to-pump condition has a concessional
conversion limit which is not exceeded as a result of the assignment.
Upper Darling Alluvial Groundwater Source
8. Rules for Granting Access Licences
A new licence category of licence for water table and salinity management has been included and
the Plan now allows for granting new licences in this category. These licences are to be granted for
the sole purpose of reducing or preventing an increase in salinity levels in this and connected
water sources.
The Plan has now been approved by the Minister for Primary Industries with concurrence from the
Minister for the Environment. The Plan commenced on 4 October 2012 and will be in effect for ten
years.

NSW Office of Water | www.water.nsw.gov.au |


You may be contacted again by the NSW Office of Water to finalise licensing arrangements for
transition from the Water Act 1912 to the Water Management Act 2000.

Yours sincerely

On behalf of
Lyndal Betterridge
Manager Water Planning
Water Management Division

NSW Office of Water | www.water.nsw.gov.au |


IM12/18208
MF12/5935
DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
NSW Office of Water/Water Policy and Planning Ministerial Letter

Mr Ian Cole
Draft Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River - recent
Interagency Regional Panel recommendations, current Cap Management
arrangements and proposed changes to the Barwon-Darling Cap IQQM

Issue:
Response to Mr Ian Cole, Chairman of Barwon-Darling Water [formerly Mungindi-
Menindee Advisory Council (MMAC)], regarding the Barwon-Darling Interagency
Regional Panel’s (IRP) recommended changes to the Draft Water Sharing Plan for
the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources (WSP), current Barwon-
Darling Cap Management arrangements and proposed changes to the Barwon-
Darling Cap IQQM.

Background:
The draft WSP was approved for public exhibition on 10 October 2011 and extended
to 18 December 2011. The IRP reviewed all comments made in submissions and
revised their draft water sharing recommendations where necessary. A written
summary of the Panel’s recommended changes to the WSP was made available to
peak stakeholder groups, including Barwon-Darling Water, following this meeting.

Following provision of the Panel’s recommended changes, Barwon-Darling Water


raised a number of issues in a letter dated 15 May 2012 regarding the draft WSP and
information used to develop the draft WSP. In particular, Barwon-Darling Water
raised concerns regarding:
1. Cap management and modelling;
2. Access to the no flow class for stock watering;
3. Recognition of historical access to water in the Barwon-Darling water source
under the ‘notwithstanding’ clause;
4. The proposed amendment provision allowing access rules to be altered to
improve outcomes for threatened fish species.

Further to this correspondence, on 18 July 2012 at a Barwon-Darling Water meeting


in Walgett, the Office of Water gave water users an update on the progression of the
draft WSP, as well as a range of ongoing implementation issues.

As a result of this meeting, the Chairman of Barwon-Darling Water wrote to Minister


Hodgkinson on 31 July 2012 concerning three additional matters, including:

1. Reverting to the 2006 Cap Management Strategy arrangements from 1 July


2012 as the Barwon-Darling Valley now has a 2GL cumulative cap credit
under Schedule E of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement;
2. Extending the proposed survival watering provisions for permanent plantings
to lucerne; and
3. Increasing the maximum rate of extraction under survival watering provisions
allowing them to utilise current infrastructure to access water under these
circumstances.
IM12/18208
MF12/5935
DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
NSW Office of Water/Water Policy and Planning Ministerial Letter

Mr Ian Cole
Draft Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River - recent
Interagency Regional Panel recommendations, current Cap Management
arrangements and proposed changes to the Barwon-Darling Cap IQQM

Comment:
As a result of discussions between Office of Water, the Panel, Minister Hodgkinson’s
Office and Barwon-Darling Water post public exhibition, the version of the WSP
submitted to the Minister for consideration included numerous changes from the draft
plan that was placed on public exhibition. Details of these changes and contentious
issues were documented as part of the approval package for the making of the
Barwon-Darling water sharing plan (WS12/154). Following endorsement from the
Minister for the Environment, the Barwon-Darling WSP was approved by the Minister
and took effect on 4 October 2012.

Barwon-Darling Cap management has been largely dealt with outside the water
sharing planning process due to its complexity and history of management. The
proposed Barwon-Darling Cap Management approach and justifications have been
documented in previous briefing WS12/188.

Recommendation:
That the Minister signs the attached letter, if approved.

Executive endorsed date:


Executive contact: David Harriss
Commissioner, NSW Office of Water
Secondary contact: Rob O’Neill
Director Water Policy & Planning

Director General Department of Primary Industries

Departmental Liaison Officer

Policy Advisor

MINISTER HODGKINSON
IM12/18208

Mr Ian Cole
Chairman
Barwon-Darling Water

BOURKE NSW 2840

Dear Mr Cole

Thank you for your letters of 15 May and 31 July 2012 concerning the Barwon-
Darling Interagency Regional Panel’s recommended changes to the Draft Water
Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources (WSP),
proposed Barwon-Darling Cap Management arrangements and recent changes to
the Barwon-Darling Cap IQQM.

Following consideration of a number of WSP matters raised with me, I requested the
Office of Water to make several amendments which, I believe, now present a fair and
equitable outcome for all. As you are aware, I had previously agreed to extend the
interim Barwon-Darling Cap management arrangements, which limited annual
access to water in the Barwon-Darling Valley to 198 gigalitres, pending
commencement of the WSP.

I have since approved the Barwon-Darling WSP, with the Plan taking effect from
4 October 2012. Commencement of the Barwon-Darling plan, along with a number
of other water sharing plans, now provides complete coverage of water sharing plans
across the NSW portion of the Murray-Darling Basin, ahead of the Murray-Darling
Basin Authority’s Basin Plan coming into effect.

I am advised that the accreditation process for the Barwon-Darling Cap IQQM is well
advanced, and it is anticipated that accreditation will be achieved in the near future. I
am also advised that the latest Cap modelling indicates that the Barwon-Darling
Valley has returned to Cap according to Schedule E of the Murray-Darling Basin
Agreement. Accordingly, I have not made a determination under clause 42(4) of the
WSP, and the WSP has commenced without the need to impose a take limit over any
three year period.

I have asked that Mr Daniel Connor of the Office of Water be available to discuss the
WSP amendments further with you. Mr Connor may be contacted on .
Mr Ian Cole -2- Minister for Primary Industries

I have asked that Mr Paul Simpson, also from the Office of Water, be available to
discuss the current Cap management arrangements and proposed changes to the
Barwon-Darling Cap IQQM. Mr Simpson may be contacted on .

Yours sincerely

Katrina Hodgkinson MP
Minister for Primary Industries