Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement

The Lake Eyre Basin is of conservation significance on a world scale. It is one of the last water catchments around the globe to flow without interruption. Further, the Basin has seen less disturbance since European settlement than other parts of Australia and most of its ecosystems are in good health.

The Basin and its waterways are still subject to threats from certain land-uses, pest plants and animals, and development. In response, communities and governments have committed to collaborative, cross-border management. The aim is to maintain its values into the future while supporting economic activity.

Commitment to cross-border collaboration is embodied in the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement. It was established between the Australian, Queensland and South Australian governments in 2000. The Northern Territory subsequently signed the Agreement in 2004.

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Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement PDF 28 604 KB
Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement DOCX 28 730 KB

Please note: These documents was not prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the publication, please contact its author.

The purpose of the Agreement is to “provide for the development or adoption, and implementation of policies and strategies concerning water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area to avoid or eliminate so far as reasonably practicable adverse cross-border impacts.”

The Lake Eyre Basin is of conservation significance on a world scale. It is one of the last water catchments around the globe to flow without interruption. The Basin has seen less disturbance since European settlement than other parts of Australia and most of its ecosystems are generally in good health.

Threats to the Basin and its waterways are from certain land-uses, pest plants and animals, and development. Communities and governments have responded by committing to collaborative, cross-border management. The aim is to maintain the basins values into the future while supporting economic activity.

Commitment to cross-border collaboration is embodied in the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement . It was established between the Australian, Queensland and South Australian governments in 2000. The Northern Territory subsequently signed the Agreement in 2004.

The purpose of the Agreement is to “provide for the development or adoption, and implementation of policies and strategies concerning water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area to avoid or eliminate so far as reasonably practicable adverse cross-border impacts.”

The Agreement established the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum, chaired by the Commonwealth Minister for Water and also includes ministers from Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

A Community Advisory Committee and Scientific Advisory Panel provide advice to the Ministerial Forum.

Six policies have been developed to support the Agreement: River Flows Policy; Water Quality Policy; Water and Related Natural Resources Policy; Existing Entitlements and Water Resource Development Policy; Research and Monitoring Policy; and a Whole-of-Basin Approach Policy.

First review of the agreement

A review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement is mandated every five years. The first review – Review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement – assessed the extent to which the objectives set out in the Agreement were achieved.

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Review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement PDF 101 1.0 MB

Please note: This document was not prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the publication, please contact its author.

The first review found that the Agreement (and the way it is being implemented) served a useful purpose and is largely meeting its objectives. The Agreement was highly valued by the stakeholders who were keen to see it retained and strengthened as a strong process for ensuring that the integrity of the Lake Eyre Basin is maintained into the future.

Second review of the agreement

The Second Review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement determined:

  • The purpose of the Agreement has been achieved
  • The objectives set out in clause 2.2 of the Agreement have been achieved
  • The Agreement efficiently addresses the current threats and pressures within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area
  • The activities of government adequately manage the threats and pressures within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area.

The Review was undertaken by an independent consultant with input from the Basin governments and community.

The department conducted a public consultation for the Second Review of the Agreement through which 53 submissions were received. The independent consultant considered these submissions in developing the final Review report.

Ministerial Forum response to the Second Review

The Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum released its response to the Second Review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement  on 24 December 2020.

Lake Eyre Basin Ministers have agreed to the development of a Strategic Plan for the Lake Eyre Basin – one of the key recommendations of the Review. The Plan will provide an important framework within which to manage the Basin’s environmental, social, cultural, and economic objectives.

The Australian Government and Basin jurisdictions will continue to work collaboratively to address the recommendations following the Review to provide for the sustainability of the Lake Eyre Basin into the future.

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​Document Pages File size
Ministerial Forum response to the Second Review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement PDF 5 176 KB
Ministerial Forum response to the Second Review of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement DOCX 5 43 KB

Please note: These documents was not prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the publication, please contact its author.

 

If you need more information, contact lebsecretariat@awe.gov.au

Last reviewed: 24 December 2020
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