NRAR chief visits Walgett water stakeholders

Media release | 15 May 2018

Chief Regulatory Officer of the NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) Grant Barnes was in Walgett today to meet with local stakeholders and talk about NRAR’s work to deliver world class regulation and compliance in water management in NSW.

NRAR’s visit coincided with expected water flows in the area following the joint NSW/Commonwealth 23,800 ML release of environmental water reserves into the Barwon-Darling River system.

Mr Barnes said the NRAR team had started work on 30 April 2018 and wanted to engage as early as possible with water users to promote their work and to understand better how NRAR can best meet their goal to protect the state’s precious water resources.

“I’m pleased to be in Walgett to meet with local stakeholders and to listen to their views on how NRAR can ensure strong and certain regulation for all water users in the state.

“All water users and the broader public need ready access to information about water use in NSW and NRAR will play a key role in increasing transparency in water management.

“Anyone looking to circumvent the regulations and make unlawful, inequitable or non-compliant use of this precious natural resource should be on notice.

“Our highly experienced officers now have their boots on the ground, meeting with water stakeholders to make sure the message of compliance is clear.

“A big part of NRAR’s work will be making sure that water licence holders are aware of their obligations when it comes to accessing and using water – this is fundamental to improved voluntary compliance.

“I was pleased to meet with stakeholders and the community in and around Walgett today to talk about how we’re rebuilding public trust and restoring confidence in water management across NSW,” he said.

Mr Barnes said the recent release of environmental water aimed to improve riverine health, habitat, replenish residual pools and support native fish communities along the river system.

“The NSW Government worked with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) in April to facilitate a 23,800 ML release of environmental water into the Barwon-Darling River system.

“This environmental release was for the first time backed by temporary water restrictions imposed by the NSW Government which are in force until 22 June 2018 unless repealed or modified.

“The action was part of a broader commitment by the NSW Government to improve the management of environmental water in the Barwon-Darling system,” he said.

Learn more about how the NSW Government is driving reform in water management in NSW: www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water-reform

Rory Treweeke, Grant Barnes and Mark Taylor at Walgett Weir on Barwon River