As more and more people contact us for information on the draft and order their copy, we’ve been asked ’How should I read it?’
It’s a good question, and an important one considering that the Windsor Inquiry said we had to do a better job of communicating the Basin Plan.
The draft Basin Plan is actually a draft legislative instrument – it’s a piece of draft legislation. As you can imagine, that doesn’t make for light reading. Below is a suggested approach for getting your head around the draft.
- Keep an eye on this blog and our website – we’re committed to ’no surprises’ so we’ll continue to put out information about the draft. For example, there’s a brief of what we’ve been discussing with stakeholders and information about the science we’ve used.
- Read the 30(ish)-page document ‘Delivering a Healthy, Working Basin’. This has the Chair’s foreword in it and 10 key points about the draft. It also covers the big issues like draft sustainable diversion limits, the science, socio-economics, adaptive management, localism and how you can have your say.
- Next, grab the catchment-by-catchment summaries. Here, you can look up your catchment and read the 2-3 pages of information specifically about your area.
- Having read through these simpler documents, you should have a better idea of what bits of the draft you are particularly interested in. Now’s the time to find yourself a well-lit, comfy spot and sit down with both the draft legislative instrument (about 220 pages) and plain English summary (about 140 pages). The plain English summary is the explanation document for the draft Plan, giving a translation of each section. It’s a good idea to read both documents side-by-side, to make sure that you’re getting through the ‘legalese’.
- Contact the MDBA or your peak body/state government for clarification on any points. These organisations, including the National Farmers’ Federation, National Irrigators’ Council and Australian Conservation Foundation, are all across the draft, as are many local peak bodies.
- Have your say on what’s in the draft. This is the important bit, as we will take your submissions and write the first Basin Plan.
Since there’s a lot of reading, we won’t be out in the Basin in the first week of the 20-week consultation period. That’s reading and digesting time – something else we learned from last year!