The Northern Territory (NT) is currently amending its legislative framework following its Water
Reform Directions Paper (2018) and Report Card against the Directions Paper (January 2021).1 These
amendments are also being informed by the recommendations of the Territory Economic Recovery
Commission Final Report (November 2020).2
The NT Government has not seized this timely opportunity to strengthen the regulatory regime and
avoid environmental catastrophes such as those seen in the Murray Darling Basin. Instead, the
proposed amendments will further weaken the protection of the NT’s water resources by encouraging
unsustainable development without adequate regulatory oversight.
Our review of the proposed amendments in this briefing note should be read in conjunction with our
separate briefing note on the deficiencies in the existing water law and governance framework
in the NT.
1 Northern Territory Water Regulatory Reform, Directions Paper (October 2018); Report Card – Northern Territory Water Regulatory Reform (January 2021); both documents are available here.
2 Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission: Final Report (November 2020), available here.