NSW Government calls for conditions on efficiency measures

Media release | 15 October 2018

The NSW Government, in line with the Victorian Government is calling for on the Commonwealth to include key criteria when developing socio-economic measures to protect regional communities in any further water recovery under the Basin Plan, post 2019.

At a meeting in June, ministers from the Basin states and the Commonwealth agreed they would develop further criteria to assess socio-economic impacts of any further water recovery ahead of a further meeting in December.

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair said NSW communities have already done the heavy lifting under the Basin Plan, with close to 1031GL of water recovered in NSW.

“We want to ensure that any future water recovery projects contribute to the current and future financial viability of irrigation districts,” Mr Blair said.

“All potential projects must be made public with all cumulative impacts at a district level identified, including ensuring that all irrigation and associated jobs are secured for now and into the future.

“In addition, projects should not have negative third party impacts on the irrigation system, water market or regional communities, including directly increasing the price of water.

“The NSW Government also wants to ensure that any social or environmental outcomes are identified and improved and that any Aboriginal values are identified and protected or improved.

“We have seen the impacts drought has had on our communities, with the water recovered since the millennium drought causing significant difficulties in producing adequate fodder and cropping.

“The last thing anyone should want to do is increase this hardship by unnecessarily recovering more water, which is why the NSW Government is taking a stand here today to protect our NSW communities.”