Basin Plan

NSW water reform set to spill to interstate

28 March 2018

Mike Foley,
28 March 2018

AFTER eight months of playing catch up on water regulation, NSW is set to take the lead among Basin states with ambitious reforms, and set the high water mark for transparency and compliance.

Regional Water Minister Niall Blair is beefing up laws to increase public confidence in bulk water use, winning plaudits from irrigation industries for his efforts to clean up what has become a public relations disaster.

Controversy over alleged water theft, weak government oversight and ineffective protections for environmental flows has pushed public perceptions to a new low.

As the Murray Darling Basin Plan nears the pointy end, the four participating states are looking into each others’ backyard to check on the neighbours and NSW’s shiny set of new laws will be hard to ignore.

Victorian Farmers Federation water council chairman Richard Anderson acknowledged NSW’s precedent could push the Ministerial Council of Basin states toward common standards.

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