A NSW Government website

Western Regional Water Strategy

Connectivity Expert Panel

An independent expert panel to provide feedback on work being carried out to improve connectivity and flows into the Barwon-Darling River.

Sunset over Menindee lakes.

Independent Connectivity Expert Panel

The Independent Connectivity Expert Panel has been appointed to review the analyses the department have undertaken to improve connectivity and to provide an independent assessment of its adequacy. The Minister has agreed to bring forward the review of floodplain harvesting triggers and has asked the Connectivity Expert Panel to holistically consider the application of statutory restrictions to both floodplain harvesting and supplementary water access licences to improve downstream outcomes.

The scope of the panel’s review can be found in the:

The Terms of Reference have been amended in response to Recommendation 1.1 in the Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer’s Independent Review into the 2023 fish deaths in the Darling-Baaka at Menindee.

The panel members are:

Ms Amy Dula

Director of Programs, Natural Resources Commission

Professor Phil Duncan

First Nations representative, Galambany Professional Fellow, Acting CEO, EPIC CRC

Professor Fran Sheldon

Head of School, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University

Dr Mark Southwell

Principal River Scientist, 2rog Consulting

Dr Phil Townsend

Senior Economic Analyst

Mr Cameron Smith

Principal Water Engineer, Cleah Consulting

The Expert panel is expected to release its draft report in March 2024.

The department will undertake a short round of public consultation on the draft report after its release. The final report will be used by the government to inform any potential amendments to water sharing plans for the NSW Northern Basin catchments.