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Enacting river health in legislation

River Murray Act 2003

The River Murray Act 2003 aims to ensure that all reasonable and practicable measures are taken to protect, restore and enhance the River Murray in recognition of its importance to the South Australian community and economy. The Act is important because it integrates the protection of the river into other legislation relating to the River Murray system.

A key feature is the general duty of care provision that applies to all river users. The Act outlines a referral system, whereby the Minister has the power to review applications for certain types of activities. You might need the Minister’s approval to undertake an activity that could impact on the river. Select one of the following referral assessment policies for more information:

For more information about the River Murray Act, see:

Annual reports for the River Murray Act are also available to download.

River Murray Act Implementation Strategy

The River Murray Act Implementation Strategy (1.85mb pdf) describes priorities and strategies to achieve the Objects of the River Murray Act 2003 and further the Objectives for a Healthy River Murray outlined in this Act. The Strategy was amended in 2014 following a review of the original strategy in 2011 that involved extensive consultation with stakeholders having an interest in the management of the River.

Natural Resources Management Act 2004

The Natural Resources Management Act 2004 enables water allocation and licensing on the River Murray so that water extracted from the river can be managed sustainably.

River Murray Water Allocation Framework

This framework determines how water available to South Australia under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement of the Commonwealth Water Act 2007 is shared between the different consumptive uses, including irrigation and other diversion entitlement holders, the environment and critical human water needs. 

View the framework and current and historical water allocations.

Water Act 2007

The Water Act 2007 enables the Commonwealth, together with Basin States, to manage Murray-Darling Basin water resources in the national interest, address threats to Basin water resources in accordance with international agreements, ensure the return to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction, promote the use and management of Basin water resources in a way that optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes and improve water security for all Basin water resource uses. 

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority and Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder were established under the Act to overseeing water resource planning in the Basin and maximise environmental outcomes from Commonwealth environmental water.

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