Independent review of water management and compliance

Interim report

On 11 September 2017, Ken Matthews issued a statement regarding the delivery of his Independent Investigation into NSW Water Management and Compliance. The focus of his interim report was to assess whether the department's policies, procedures and actions were appropriate, to recommend whether further actions should be undertaken, and to identify opportunities to improve the department’s future compliance and enforcement performance.

Download the Independent investigation into NSW water management and compliance – Interim report (2 MB PDF).


On 26 July 2017, Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair announced the appointment of Ken Matthews AO to conduct an independent investigation into the issues raised by the ABC’s 4 Corners program on 24 July 2017.

Mr Matthews is a former Commonwealth Department Head with a long and accomplished career in the Australian Public Service and has significant experience in water management issues. He served as the foundation Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the National Water Commission (NWC) and was responsible for working with the state and territory governments to implement the National Water Initiative, an inter-governmental agreement to improve national water management.

The terms of reference for the review will cover all allegations raised in the broadcast that involve the responsibilities of DPI-Water and any of its employees.

If the review identifies staff whose conduct has not been in keeping with department policies or processes, this information will be provided for decision-making in any subsequent disciplinary processes. Referral of any potentially illegal or corrupt activities identified will be made to relevant authorities.

Media releases and statements


Any members of the public who have relevant information can contact Mr Matthews and his team by

All correspondence will be reviewed by Mr Matthews and his team.