NSW agrees to protect environmental water

Media release | 16 April 2018

The NSW Government has today announced that it will work with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) to facilitate a 23,800 ML release of environmental water into the Barwon-Darling River system.

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair said Commonwealth and NSW environmental water reserves will be released to enhance river flows in northern NSW and support native habitats along the river system.

“We know how important the Barwon and Darling rivers are to our most remote communities and this event will refresh those rivers after a long period of hot and dry weather,” Mr Blair said.

“There is widespread support for the release of this environmental water and today highlights the willing co-operation through all levels of Government and the Northern Basin community.”

Today’s announcement follows the NSW Government’s water reform consultation that included a discussion paper on environmental flow management. This event comes at just the right time and will be used as a pilot to inform reforms for environmental water management. An interagency working group has been established to manage the event, which will be overseen by the NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator.

Mr Blair said today highlights the difference between the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government and the newly-formed Labor/Greens regional water alliance.

“We don’t just talk. We listen to our regional communities, we get their feedback and most importantly, we get on with the job, as we look for the best ways to manage water now and into the future,” Mr Blair said.

“The current Labor and Greens water spokesmen prefer to run ill-informed scare campaigns during periods of drought, but then run away from any plans or policy.

“While we are busy identifying solutions, all Labor and the Greens do is create political stunts designed to list all the problems but offer no practical, funded solutions. Our communities deserve better.”