Oral Presentation Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2017

Looking back and looking forward: water reform as an agent of change for native fish in the Murray-Darling Basin (#18)

Katie A Ryan 1
  1. Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra, ACT, Australia

The Basin Plan was legislated in 2012, with an overarching aim of returning the Murray-Darling Basin to a healthy working basin. Thus, the Plan is intended as an agent of change for the environment, communities and economies. Poorly received by the public, the potential environmental benefits of the Plan received little attention in comparison with the potential impacts on communities and economies. Five years on, the initial evaluation of the Basin Plan provides opportunity to determine the value of the policy to date; to explore learnings and knowledge gaps; to identify what is necessary to achieve outcomes in the future; and to make linkages between environmental outcomes and social and economic benefits. In this presentation we will discuss how we are piecing together evidence of success, failure and learning to determine if the Basin Plan has been, or will be, an agent of change for native fish. The linkages between native fish outcomes and social and economic benefits will be discussed, and the opportunities to increase stakeholder support of the Plan through targeted communication of these linkages will be explored.