When the draft Basin Plan is released, you’ll be able to comment on it in several ways. Broadly, these can be separated into formal and informal responses.
So what’s the difference?
By law, we must consider all formal responses – or submissions – we receive. A formal response is anything clearly marked, “Submission on the proposed Basin Plan”. Where appropriate, we may alter the Basin Plan based on these submissions. Make sure you get your submissions to us by Monday 16 April 2012, when the 20-week consultation period closes.
In contrast, an informal response is not a submission. It could be your statements on this blog, letters, emailed questions or tweets. From here on out we’ll refer to these as informal comments. While we do not have to consider informal comments as part of the formal process, we will read them and try to answer your questions when we can – yes, even on this blog.
The Basin Plan will influence the future of the environment and people in the Murray-Darling Basin. It is important to the process that affected and interested people respond formally to the draft Basin Plan. You can make a formal submission at any time during the 20 weeks following the release of the draft Basin Plan on 28 November.
We will be publishing all submissions, including names, on our website. If you don’t want this to happen, please make sure you tell us to treat your submission (or a specific part of it) confidentially. We will also be publishing a report after the consultation period, summarising all the submissions we received, how we responded and any changes we made to the Basin Plan.
You can send us your submissions online using the Basin Plan Submissions form – head over to the MDBA website once the 20-week consultation period has begun. You will also be able to email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can mail your submission to:
Proposed Basin Plan
Murray-Darling Basin Authority
GPO Box 3001
Canberra City ACT 2601
You can even send it to us by fax on (02) 6279 0558.
If you mail or fax your feedback to us, please include the words “Submission on the proposed Basin Plan” in the title, subject line or body of the submission – that way we’ll know that it’s a formal submission.
For more information, please visit our website or call 1800 230 067.
As well as telling us what you think through the formal submissions process, you can also talk to us and other people right here on the blog by leaving comments on our posts.
We can’t respond to each and every comment but we’ll certainly answer the questions we can either as a comment or a blog post.
Remember, the comments you leave on the blog cannot be considered an official submission of your opinion on the draft Basin Plan. While we will have regard for any suggestions or feedback you leave on the blog (and in our other social media spaces), we MUST consider any formal submissions we receive.
Feel free to follow and talk to us on Twitter. We won’t able to reply to every tweet but we’ll do our best to answer your questions. We also have a Facebook page and a YouTube channel to help keep you informed about the draft Basin Plan and the other work we do. Still want more information? Sign up to the MDBA email list.