Interagency Working Group and the Interim Solutions Package

An Interagency Working Group (IWG) with New South Wales and Commonwealth agency representation was established in February 2018 to develop options on how the NSW Government can better manage environmental water. The IWG work collaboratively with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment–Water to guide the delivery of the better management of environmental water program.

The IWG presented the NSW Government with an Interim Solutions Package for better managing environmental water within 90 days of its commencement.

The initial solutions put forward by the IWG were taken to consultation in March 2018, with the department asking for public feedback on broad approaches, outcomes and measures to improve management of environmental water in unregulated rivers. Based on the outcomes of public consultation, in June 2018 the NSW Government released and committed to the Better management of environmental water Interim solutions package, which included:

  • interim solutions, including trials for better managing environmental water and establishing the legislative framework for enduring solutions
  • ‘roadmap’ to deliver the interim solutions and progress enduring solutions
  • governance arrangements and reporting, including a continuing role for the IWG until the water resource plans commence
  • consultation approaches, including using the existing Basin Plan water resource planning consultation process, to progress these reforms.

The IWG's Terms of Reference were reviewed in June 2019. Amendments were made to reflect the expanded membership of the group, and its shift in focus to providing advice on enduring solutions following release of the interim solutions package in June 2018.