Restore confidence for all stakeholders in the integrity of the Basin Plan.
Maintain the integrity of the delivery of the Basin Plan.
The functions of the Interim Inspector-General are set out in the agreed terms of reference.
Terms of reference
The Interim Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources (the Interim Inspector-General) will:
- provide independent oversight and monitor the progress of all aspects of Basin water resources management, including but not limited to:
- Commonwealth and Basin state agencies’ performance of functions, and compliance with requirements, under Commonwealth laws (the Water Act, the Basin Plan and other legislative instruments made under the Water Act) used to manage Basin water resources;
- Commonwealth agencies’ performance of functions, and compliance with requirements, other than under Commonwealth laws (for instance, policies) used to manage Basin water resources;
- Basin state agencies’ performance of functions, and compliance with requirements, under Basin state laws, rules and policies used to manage Basin water resources;
- Commonwealth and Basin state implementation of Commonwealth and Basin state intergovernmental agreements and arrangements relating to the management of Basin water resources.
- engage with the Australian community about Basin water resources and management
- provide public advice relating to any of the above functions to the Commonwealth Minister responsible for water or the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council from time to time, or as requested by the Minister or Ministerial Council. The Minister may request this advice as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council.
The Interim Inspector-General will also:
- seek to restore confidence for all stakeholders in the integrity of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan
- establish processes for the receipt of allegations of non-compliance with the Water Act 2007 (Cth), the Basin Plan and water resource plans
- refer instances of alleged non-compliance to appropriate authorities, noting that Basin states and territory governments have primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing compliance in their areas
- report to the Minister on the focus areas and work of the Inspector-General annually.
The Interim Inspector-General may undertake independent assessments in relation to any of the above functions and provide advice to the Commonwealth Minister responsible for water.
The Interim Inspector-General will not duplicate the roles of existing Commonwealth, state or territory government agencies in addressing instances of non-compliance and/or illegal activity and will refer such matters to the relevant competent authority.
The Interim Inspector-General is a non-statutory role for a period of 12 months or until a statutory appointment is made.
The government has appointed Mick Keelty AO as the Interim Inspector-General from 1 October 2019. This is pending new legislation under the Water Act 2007 to create a permanent position.
Mr Keelty previously served as the Northern Basin Commissioner.
The Northern Basin Commissioner:
- oversaw the implementation of the Northern Basin Review recommendations
- monitored, audited and reported on a range of other activities in the northern Basin.
The creation of the Inspector-General role reflects the success of the Commissioner position. The Commissioner increased confidence in compliance and enforcement in the northern Basin.
Mr Keelty was an officer with the Australian Federal Police for 35 years. He spent eight and half years as Commissioner of Police. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001 for ‘distinguished service to national and international law enforcement, particularly through the establishment of bilateral agreements with corresponding overseas agencies and the integration of intelligence and law enforcement efforts within Australia’.
Read about the appointment of the Interim Inspector-General.
About the Office
The Office of the Inspector-General of Murray–Darling Basin Water Resources supports the Interim Inspector-General.
- carry out research
- liaise with stakeholders
- prepare reports
- provide administrative and secretariat support.
The Office staff will be located in the Basin.