Towards a healthy, working river
In April 2002, the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council agreed to hold a community-wide discussion about restoring the health of the River Murray system.
The Council also called for a comprehensive study of the costs and benefits to the environment, industry and the community of returning water to the river. This marked the beginning of The Living Murray initiative.
The following year, the Australian, New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and the Australian Capital Territory governments together pledged $650 million to The Living Murray’s first step, making it Australia's largest river restoration program.
This funding will address water over-allocation within the Murray-Darling Basin – with an initial focus on achieving environmental results at six River Murray icon sites – and support an environmental works and measures program.
Implementation of The Living Murray First Step is provided for through an Intergovernmental Agreement signed by New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Australian Government on 25 June 2004 .
The Intergovernmental Agreement gives a commitment of $500 million over five years. The Living Murray Business Plan describes how the actions and milestones in the Intergovernmental Agreement will be achieved.
The $500 million commitment from the Intergovernmental Agreement will combine with $150 million provided by the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council for the Environmental Works and Measures Program.
In July 2006, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) released a Supplementary Intergovernmental Agreement on Addressing Water Overallocation and Achieving Environmental Objectives in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Further information on The Living Murray:
Additional background information can be found below:
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