Ken Matthews’ final report into water management and compliance

Media release | 30 November 2017

Ken Matthews AO has submitted his final report into water management and compliance to the NSW Government.

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair thanked Mr Matthews and his team for their work in providing another candid and considered report.

“Mr Matthews acknowledges the NSW Government was ‘quick out-of-the-blocks’ to accept the diagnosis and to adopt the prescription. His overall assessment of the progress we are making has been positive,” Mr Blair said.

“However, the report also highlighted concerns that unless we continue to drive these reforms the package is at risk of delay.

“I want to be very clear, the Government is firmly committed to delivering these reforms for the good of the community and all stakeholders and there is no room for any delay.”

The NSW Government will now consider the final report in detail, alongside recent findings of the NSW Ombudsman and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), with a comprehensive response to be presented to the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council and published in December.

The NSW Government recently passed legislation to establish the new Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR), a crucial first step in creating an independent, transparent and accountable body to oversee compliance and enforcement of water laws in NSW.

Mr Blair said the momentum we have established in just a few short months has been significant and I want to ensure we stay on course and continue to reform water management in this State.

“Mr Matthews’ final report acknowledges the actions we have already taken to address water management problems, but it is also clear there will be challenges to achieving such an ambitious program of reform,” Mr Blair said.

“We’re committed to the Murray Darling Basin Plan and will continue to work with the MDBA and other Basin states to fully implement this package of reforms.”

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