Have your say water reform consultation in Bourke

Media release | 20 March 2018

The NSW Department of Industry—Water will meet with the community in Bourke this week to seek input on the NSW Water Reform Action Plan as part of a statewide consultation and community engagement program.

The community is invited to attend the session between 1.30pm to 4.30pm on Thursday 22 March at Diggers on the Darling, 23-25 Sturt Street, Bourke.

The Water Reform Action Plan Taskforce will attend the meeting to hear from local stakeholders and to provide information on consultation papers released by the Department earlier this month for community input by 15 April 2018.

Executive Director Water, Charlie Dowsett, said at the heart of this plan is the need to improve the transparency and robustness of how we share, allocate, account for and manage water in NSW and 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.

Mr Dowsett said community input was sought on four key areas of reform:

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

“We want stakeholders to help us make sure 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.

“These community briefings also allow an opportunity to highlight progress and direction of the newly formed independent Natural Resources Access Regulator and its role in improving water management and compliance into the future,” he said

“The feedback will help shape the legislation to be introduced into Parliament, and the development of these policies. There will also be further consultation on the regulations that will implement the reforms,” Mr Dowsett said.

The community consultation period is open until the 15 April 2018 with a series of stakeholder events scheduled for Dubbo, Broken Hill, Bourke, Moree, Coffs Harbour, Gunnedah, Wentworth and Griffith in March and early April. For further information, and to Have Your Say, go to www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water-reform/consultation