Minister Brindle, Minister Truss, Minister Seccombe at Hamilton Downs, Barcaldine, 2006
The Basin underlies part of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory, which operate under different legislative frameworks, policies and resource management approaches. Actions in one jurisdiction have the potential to affect another because of the continuity of Basin aquifers. A higher level of consistent policy and practice between and within jurisdictions is required to achieve an optimum level and mix of benefits from and for the resource. This is consistent with best practice management as agreed to by all Australian governments (under the National Water Reform Framework) and has been a key factor in the development of the Strategic Management Plan.
The active engagement of landholders and industry stakeholders is a key imperative for the Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee (GABCC) to facilitate the Basin-wide exchange of information between stakeholders, and to encourage a strong commitment from government and industry leaders to the sustainable management of Basin resources.
The industry sector are central to the improved management of the Basin, as they are major and often inefficient water users of its groundwater. Better groundwater use and management within this group will help protect security of supply to existing users (including groundwater-dependent ecosystems and associated cultural heritage values), and maintain operations for the future use of the resource. Better management will also ensure that grazing pressures are more closely managed, weeds and feral animals are controlled and land degradation is reduced.