Crawford School Dialogue

Crawford School Dialogue:
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan: What will it mean for the future of the Murray-Darling Basin?

Venue: Molonglo Theatre, J G Crawford Building 132, Australian National University
Date: Friday, 15 October 2010
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Program: » read more [PDF 267KB]

The Crawford School Dialogue will bring together leading experts and practitioners to assess the future prospects of the Murray-Darling Basin under the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Discussion will focus upon the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the guidelines to which will be released on 8 October.

For the first time governments in the Murray-Darling Basin are attempting to introduce a comprehensive, integrated approach to the management of the Basin. The aim is to arrest ongoing decline in resource security and environmental conditions and prepare the region for climate change.

The Dialogue will provide a forum to discuss the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in relation to environmental assets and flows, Indigenous issues, economic and social impacts, climate change risks, impacts on communities, water planning, groundwater management, legal issues, institutional arrangements, implementation challenges and the science behind the plan.

The speakers will provide a range of presentation on the draft plan assessing its likely impacts, strengths and weaknesses. Members of the public will be able to respond on the day and online ( After the conference, speakers will finalise their papers and an electronic publication will be prepared for release in the statutory consultation period during which the Commonwealth Government will be seeking public comment on the draft Basin Plan.



What Should We Expect from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan?

9.30am - 10.50am

Economic Impacts
The Basin Plan will alter the division of water between irrigated agriculture and the environment, urban centres, Indigenous interests and critical human needs. What are the principles underpinning the new arrangements? How will they impact on the economy of the Murray-Darling Basin?

  • Dr Donna Brennan, University of Western Australia,
    » view presentation [PDF, 34KB]
  • Professor R. Quentin Grafton, Australian National University,
    » view presentation [PDF, 36KB]
  • Professor John Quiggin, University of Queensland,
    » view presentation [PDF, 77KB]
  • Professor Mike Young, University of Adelaide ,
    » view presentation [PDF, 281KB]

» view video


10.50am - 11.10am

Morning Tea/Coffee

11.10am - 12.30pm

Environmental/Hydrological Implications
The Basin Plan is meant to protect the key ecological functions and preserve core environmental values. What are the key functions and how will they be maintained? In a world of difficult choices which environmental sites have been selected and why?

  • Professor Max Finlayson, Charles Sturt University,
    » view presentation [PDF, 718KB]
  • Karlene Maywald, former minister for the River Murray, South Australia,
    » view presentation [PDF, 435KB]
  • Professor Richard Norris, University of Canberra,
    » view presentation [PDF, 1332KB]
  • Professor Ian White, Australian National University

» view video


12.30pm - 1.30pm Lunch
1.30pm - 3.00pm

The Murray-Darling Basin is home to a very diverse range of communities. Water shapes their lives in many often imperceptible
ways. How will they be affected by the Basin Plan?

  • Dr Sue Jackson, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship CSIRO,
    » view presentation [PDF, 516KB]
  • Professor Chris Miller, Flinders University
  • Åsa Wahlquist, author, Thirsty Country

» view video


3.00pm - 4.30pm

Governance and Management
The success of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will depend on the water policy and management framework put in place to
implement it. Development of that framework will largely be the responsibility of the states. How will the Water Act 2007 and the
Basin Plan contribute to that process?

» view video

4.30pm - 5.30pm Discussion and Refreshments

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