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Policies

The Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement provides for the Ministerial Forum to develop policies and strategies for the sustainable cross-border management of water and related natural resources within the Agreement Area.

Since its inception in 2001, the LEB Ministerial Forum has adopted six policies under the Agreement, providing for a whole-of-basin approach to cross-border management of water and related natural resources. The aim of these policies is to ensure complementarity between the relevant legislation, policies, and planning processes across the Basin.

  1. River Flows Policy: Flow regimes of river systems within the Agreement Area will be managed to protect and maintain the ecological integrity and natural function of in-stream and floodplain ecosystems, and the viability of economic, social, cultural and other activities which do not threaten these environmental values.
  2. Water Quality Policy: Water quality in the river systems within the Agreement Area will be managed to protect and maintain the ecological integrity and natural function of in-stream and floodplain ecosystems and the viability of economic, social, cultural and other activities which do not threaten these environmental values
  3. Water And Related Natural Resources Policy: Water and related natural resources associated with the river systems within the Agreement Area will be managed to protect and maintain the ecological integrity and natural function of in-stream and floodplain ecosystems and the viability of economic, social, cultural and other activities which do not threaten these environmental values
  4. Existing Entitlements and Water Resource Development Policy: Water resource planning, allocation and management arrangements, including the management of water entitlements, will be compatible with the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement. Efficient use of water will be a fundamental principle of water entitlements and utilisation. Water resource development proposals will be assessed to determine their potential impact on river flows and water quality, and compatibility with the Agreement and relevant water resource plans. These assessments will be based on the best available scientific information and local knowledge (including information from other regions in Australia and overseas).
  5. Research and Monitoring Policy: Management of water and related natural resources associated with the river systems in the Agreement Area will be guided by the best available scientific information and local knowledge, and by the results of ongoing monitoring and periodic assessment of the condition of these river systems. Targeted research may also be undertaken to address identified knowledge gaps.
  6. Whole-of-Basin Approach Policy: Water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area will be managed through a whole-of-Basin approach so as to achieve complementary outcomes, through the implementation of State/Territory legislation and the plans and associated investment strategies of relevant regional bodies in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.