NSW Government seeking community input on water reform plan

The NSW Department of Industry – Water  announced the next stage of its drive to deliver best practice water management in NSW on Wednesday with the launch of consultation papers that seek community and stakeholder input on four core areas of the NSW Water Reform Action Plan.

Department Secretary Simon Smith said input is sought on:

  • water take measurement and metering,
  • transparency measures for water markets and regulation,
  • better management of environmental water, and
  • floodplain harvesting policy

“The core of this plan is about improving the transparency and robustness of how we share, allocate, account for and manage water in NSW,” Mr Smith said.

“As part of this approach the rules need to be practical and clear.

“That’s why we are seeking community input on the detail of the water reform program and taking the consultation around the state with an extensive roadshow of community meetings and with an online Have Your Say,” he said.

“Both the Matthews Report and the Murray–Darling Basin Water Compliance Review made clear the need for greater protection of environmental water, particularly in the unregulated river systems of the Northern Basin, which Ken Matthews identified as an area requiring urgent attention.

“We want stakeholders that are most affected to contribute to key areas in the NSW Government’s Water Reform Action Plan to help us make sure that decisions about managing environmental water are well informed and that we carefully consider potential impacts on water users in terms of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

“The briefings will also provide an opportunity for us to highlight the progress and intended direction of the newly formed independent Natural Resource Access Regulator and its critical role in improving water management and compliance into the future,” he said

The community consultation period is open until April 15.

For more information on briefing locations, and to Have Your Say, visit www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water-reform/consultation