By Tanya Plibersek

14 September 2023


The Albanese Labor Government is undertaking an independent review into the Inspector-General for Water Compliance as part of its commitment to strengthen water compliance in the Murray–Darling Basin.

​Questions have been raised over the effectiveness of water compliance across the Murray–Darling Basin, including the Inspector-General’s ability to monitor and act against those taking more than their fair share.

​The review, led by Mr Peter Harris AO, aims to ensure the Inspector-General has the relevant powers to carry out its functions. These functions include:

​taking enforcement action for illegal activities;

  • conducting audits into compliance and publishing reports; and
  • issuing standards and guidelines to be applied by government agencies.

The review will include engagement with relevant stakeholders and will report back to the Government by January 2024.

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

​“In Australia, water is our most precious resource and we must make sure it’s managed appropriately.

​“This independent review will provide recommendations to Government on any changes required to ensure the Inspector-General can effectively monitor Basin states, and hold them to account, if more water is extracted from our rivers than is allowed.

​“Mr Harris brings with him a wealth of experience in the public sector, and has previously led on large-scale reviews including the Sydney Airport Demand Management Scheme in 2021.

​“We are committed to delivering the Murray–Darling Basin Plan in full, and we will continue to engage with communities to ensure we are restoring trust and transparency across the Basin.”