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Return water management power to the people of New South Wales

21 November, 2019
 Return water management power to the people of New South Wales Image

It’s time that New South Wales takes its water management powers back, says Member for Barwon Roy Butler.

Barwon communities have been battling the effects of poor water management for years and its time the Parliament of NSW gave them their power to scrutinise back.

“I’ve introduced legislation that would remove the power of the Commonwealth to enforce its view relating to water management on New South Wales,” said Mr Butler.

“The Murray-Darling Basin Plan has devastated communities and industries, it has turned agriculture on its head and damaged the environments it was supposed to support and protect.

“No one would today be of the view that the Basin Plan is working well.”

In 2008, the NSW Parliament gave its powers relating to water management to the Commonwealth via the Water (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2008. Since that time, the people of NSW through the Parliament have been unable to scrutinise the Commonwealth’s decisions relating to water management.

“There is a popular assumption that there is some strong constitutional power that the Commonwealth holds over the allocation and usage of water in the Murray Darling Basin. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Mr Butler.

“The New South Wales Government willingly gave up its power to negotiate water management with the Commonwealth.

“By having no power to scrutinise the NSW Government put itself on the sideline, allowing communities, industries and the environment in NSW to suffer the impact of the Basin Plan,” said Mr Butler.

“I implore the people of NSW to write to their local Member of Parliament to make sure that when the time comes to vote on this legislation that they’ll vote to give the people of NSW their power back.”

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