NRAR sets ambitious targets for next three years

Media release | 2 December 2020

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has released a new strategic plan for the period 2021-23 to outline its purpose and strategic goals as the NSW water regulator.

NRAR Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes says the regulator and NSW water management have come a long way since its inception in April 2018.

“Before NRAR began, there was little to no confidence in water compliance and enforcement in this state. Since then, we have embraced the mandate we were given to rebuild and win back the public’s confidence,” said Mr Barnes.

“Our community benchmarking survey showed us there is now moderate confidence in the enforcement of NSW water laws among those we surveyed. We have come a long way but we recognise the work left to do to create long lasting behavioural change.”

“We will continue to build public trust and confidence by educating, enabling and encouraging the water community to comply, and we will use our regulatory instruments to enforce the law and ensure fairness.”

Over the next three years, the regulator will:

  • increase public confidence in water compliance and enforcement (from moderate to high) before the next community benchmarking survey in 2022
  • ensure all compliance programs result in an improvement in compliance rates
  • take compliance action in 90 per cent of high-risk cases; with a year-on-year reduction in case duration
  • ensure 80 per cent of all licensing and approval applications are determined within three months
  • inspect 5,000 properties across NSW
  • complete 20 compliance programs and proactively issue reports to the relevant industry groups and the public.

“Our strategic plan sets out a clear and compelling statement of purpose which will guide us when hard decisions lie ahead and help to ensure we remain focused on our goals,” Mr Barnes continued.

NRAR completed 509 property inspections, implemented 496 enforcement actions and commenced 15 prosecutions in the 2019-20 financial year. Find out more about the regulator’s work in its second annual progress report.

To see the work NRAR does, go to its public register on the NRAR website.

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, go to or contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 during business hours.

Access the NRAR strategic plan 2021-23

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