26 September 2023

Water watchdog sets ambitious targets

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The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) released its strategic plan for the next three years outlining its purpose and strategic goals as the NSW water regulator.

Chief Regulatory Officer at NRAR, Grant Barnes said the Regulator and water management in the State had 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,” Mr Barnes said.

“Since then, we have embraced the mandate we were given to rebuild and win back the public’s confidence,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Barnes said that throughout 2021-2023 NRAR would work to increase public confidence in water compliance and enforcement; ensure all compliance programs resulted in improvement in compliance rates; and take compliance action in 90 per cent of high-risk cases.

He said NRAR would also ensure 80 per cent of all licensing and approval applications were determined within three months; inspect 5,000 properties across NSW; complete 20 compliance programs; and proactively issue reports to 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,” he said.

The NRAR’s one-page Strategic Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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