The River Murray is the lifeblood of the Murraylands and the Riverland. The River is currently subject to numerous jurisdictions not only within South Australia but also in New South Wales and Victoria. This is overlain nationally by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. The South Australian stakeholders have identified that a dedicated regime of governance would provide improved prospects of leveraging external authorities and coordinating South Australian inputs.
Holmes Dyer was engaged by the Murraylands Riverland Regional Development Authority and Murraylands Riverland Local Government Association to prepare an options and opportunity paper and a subsequent presentation. Essentially, this paper identified governance frameworks that might integrate and provide coordination across as many elements as possible of planning and managing the River to maximise its economic (and subsequently social and environmental) contribution to the Region and the State.
The options paper involved the following:
- Review of published documentation and policies of various stakeholders to determine common ground and competing interests, and to scope the breadth of governance required;
- Review of interstate models (non-statutory and statutory);
- Discussion with Alliance Members and other stakeholders (as determined in consultation with the RDA/Alliance) to determine key issues;
- Identified existing legislative options and other governance arrangements that might be suitable;
- Establishment of a high-level analysis of options including the implications, and potential barriers, for each stakeholder group and/or individual stakeholders where warranted;
- Provide recommendations and opportunities for consideration, including any further project stages such as stakeholder consultation, and or presentation of the preferred option(s) to Government.