25 September 2023

State to make splash over water plans

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NSW is to take a leading role in managing the Murray Darling Basin Plan with the Ministers for Regional NSW and Water resolving to table Basin communities’ resolutions at the next Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council meeting.

The Ministers, John Barilaro and Melinda Pavey respectively, made the announcement while on a tour through Southern Basin communities including stops at Albury, Deniliquin, Coleambally, Jerilderie and Griffith.

Mr Barilaro said the agenda for the Murray Darling Ministerial Council must reflect the needs of local communities and provide greater transparency on water management decisions.

“Irrigators in the Southern Basin have done a lot of the heavy lifting in delivering the Basin Plan and should have a greater say in how critical water management decisions are made,” Mr Barilaro said.

“That means putting communities back at the centre of the plan and providing more transparency for how and why decisions are made.”

Ms Pavey said the NSW Government would put regional voices at the centre of water solutions.

“We have a chance to have all productive ideas put on the table,” Ms Pavey said.

“That’s why grassroots-based forums led by local people and their productive solutions will form the basis of how we approach the other States and the Commonwealth to make sure NSW and the Southern Basin gets its fair share under the plan.”

She said there were many tough decisions that needed to be made in the next year, but at every step, she would place NSW front and centre.

“Ensuring more water for our communities is my priority; I don’t want to see a situation whereby we are making decisions for other States at the cost of our farmers, our communities, our people in NSW,” Ms Pavey said.

“I look forward to working with more Basin communities to table their resolutions at future council meetings,” she said.

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