STANDING COMMITTEE ON RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT - 09/09/2008 - Management of the Murray-Darling Basin system
Senator HANSON-YOUNG -What reports was the department given on the state of the Coorong and the Lower Lakes, in relation to the fact that you have put together the five options in your submission? What reports have you received and when did you receive them?
Mr Slatyer -The principal report the department received was a product of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, which was provided to ministers earlier this year. The nature of that report was described in the communique of the relevant ministerial council meeting. The department has also had ongoing discussions with South Australian officials and is a member of a number of official level committees and working groups that in different ways have been working through this issue. In some cases that involvement goes back some time prior to this year. In other cases, as the situation has become more critical, that work has been ramped up and we have become more involved.
Senator HANSON-YOUNG -When you say earlier this year, do you mean prior to June, April, March?
Mr Slatyer -I am checking my communiques as to which meeting it was. The ministerial council met in March and at that time received a report on the situation and authorised the emergency pumping measures. There was a report provided to the council at that time which the department was privy to and the department was involved in the development of. Then at the ministerial council meeting on 23 May 2008 there was a further report on the emerging situation, and decisions are recorded in the communique about that. The department was also of course privy to that report and was involved in its development as well.
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