The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is conducting public consultation on the draft Lake Eyre Basin State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report.
The department is interested in seeking the views of stakeholders within and outside the Lake Eyre Basin area on the draft report. Focus questions have been developed to assist you in the provision of feedback.
The consultation is now open and submissions must be lodged by 5:00pm AEST Friday 30 June 2017.
How to make a submission:
- provide feedback via the online submission form (limit 500 words per question).
- provide feedback via email (no word limit per question).
- provide feedback by post to LEB Secretariat, Water Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT, 2601.
The draft Lake Eyre Basin State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report
The report identifies the status of the hydrology, water quality, fish and waterbirds of the Lake Eyre Basin and identifies current and emerging pressures and threats to the water resources and riverine ecosystems of the Lake Eyre Basin.
The emerging threats and pressures section of the report identifies water resource use and development, infrastructure development, land and water degradation, mining and petroleum activities, tourism and recreation, invasive species and climate change as the key threats and pressures facing the Lake Eyre Basin’s water resources and riverine ecosystems. This section is of particular importance for the future management of the Lake Eyre Basin and feedback on this section would be appreciated.
The outcomes of this report will be used to inform the 2017 review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement.
The Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement provides for the establishment of arrangements for the management of water and related natural resources, to avoid adverse cross border impacts and ensures that Australia meets its international obligations. Under the Agreement, a review of the condition of watercourses and catchments in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area is to be undertaken every 10 years.
The last condition assessment of the catchments and rivers was a desktop analysis performed in 2008. The report found that the Basin rivers and catchments ‘are in generally good condition’. Unlike other arid river systems in Australia or the world, the basin’s low level of hydrological modification ‘means critical aquatic ecosystem processes remain intact’.
In response to the limited data available for the 2008 condition assessment the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment monitoring programme was established. The programme has been collecting hydrology, water quality and fish data from over 50 waterholes across the Basin since 2011. This data along with information sourced from natural resource management bodies, government agencies and universities has been used in the development of the report.
The draft report is available for download and will assist you in making a submission to the department.
Background information on the Lake Eyre Basin is available at
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit
web accessibility for assistance.
Make a submission by email or post
You must make a submission by email for responses longer than 500 words per question.
To make an email or a postal submission:
- download and complete the submission form below.
- email your completed form and any attachments to
LEB Secretariat by 5:00pm AEST Friday 30 June 2017.
- post your completed submission to LEB Secretariat, Water Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, GPO Box 858, Canberra, ACT, 2601.
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit
web accessibility for assistance.
Make a submission by web form
You may make a submission using this form for responses up to 500 words per question by 5:00pm AEST Friday 30 June 2017.
If any part of the information you provide is confidential, please mark your whole submission as confidential.
Web form submission
Response to key topics in the draft report
The report identifies a number of the Basin’s key values (Chapter 2) and recognises the importance of the Basin on a national and international scale. What other values of the Basin do you see as being important that should be covered in this report?
The report found that the Basin’s surface water flow and movement (hydrology) appeared to be what is expected for this highly variable and unregulated system, noting that our streamflow records are too short and variable to detect long-term changes. Can you comment on any hydrological matters not captured in this section of the report that would tell a different story?
The water quality in the Basin was reported to be highly variable and mostly within expected ranges, apart from the elevated nutrient concentrations and high levels of sediment (turbidity) in the waters of the Cooper and Georgina-Diamantina catchments. Do you think this reflects the current status of the water quality in the Basin, and if not, what aspects of water quality do you think need to be addressed?
The report found that, based on the fish communities and population trends, the Basin’s floodplains, waterholes, rivers and the environment’s they support (riverine ecosystems) are in good condition. The report identified the spread of exotics, particularly the sleepy cod, as a potential threat that requires monitoring in the future. Are there any instances/sites where you think that the report has not adequately captured the current condition of the Basin’s aquatic ecosystems?
The waterbird section reports that there is a slight increase in the Basin’s waterbird numbers and number of species over the past 33 years, whilst waterbird numbers in the Murray-Darling Basin declined over the same period. What do you consider to be the important information that the waterbird data is telling us about the condition of the Basin’s watercourses?
The report covers the changes to water flow and movement (hydrological alteration), land and water degradation, mining and petroleum activities, tourism and recreation, invasive species, social concerns and climate change as the core current and emerging pressures and threats. Are there any current and emerging pressures and threats not identified in the report that you consider impact the condition of the Basin’s watercourses?
Chapter 5 of the report takes the view that the priority is to address any pressures and threats where the current management response is not directly addressing the problem or effectively reducing the risk (such as climate change and management of invasive species on riverine and floodplain environments) and matters of significant concern to the community (such as mining and petroleum activities and hydrological alteration). What do you think are the priority threats of greatest risks?
‘Personal information’ means any information or opinion about an identified, or reasonably identifiable, individual.
The collection of personal information by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in relation to this submission is for the purposes of gathering opinions on the draft Lake Eyre Basin State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report and related purposes. You are under no obligation to provide personal information but if you do not, the department will be unable to contact you to discuss or respond to your submission.
Freedom of Information Act 1982, submissions marked confidential may be made available. Such requests will be determined in accordance with provisions under that Act.
Personal information may be published on the department’s website, disclosed to other Australian agencies, persons or organisations where necessary for these purposes, provided the disclosure is consistent with relevant laws, in particular the
Privacy Act 1988. Your personal information will be used and stored in accordance with the Privacy Principles.
See the department’s
Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement Act (2001) was signed by Ministers of the Australian, Queensland, South Australian and Northern Territory governments. The Agreement provides for the establishment of arrangements for the management of water and related natural resources, to avoid adverse cross border impacts and ensures that Australia meets its international obligations.
Under the Agreement, a review of the condition of watercourses and catchments in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area is to be undertaken every 10 years.
The draft Lake Eyre Basin State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report has been developed by the Australian, State and Territory governments, the Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee and the Lake Eyre Basin Scientific Advisory Panel, in consultation with natural resource management bodies and research institutions.
The last condition assessment of the catchments and rivers was a desk top analysis performed in 2008. The report focussed on the health of the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers system, including the catchments, floodplains, lakes, wetlands and overflow channels and the plants and animals. The assessment covered the entire Basin, some of which is outside the Agreement area. The report found that Basin rivers and catchments ‘are in generally good condition’. Unlike other arid river systems in Australia or the world, the Basin’s low level of hydrological modification ‘means critical aquatic ecosystem processes remain intact’.