NSW government holding floodplain harvesting strategy consultation in Moree and Narrabri

NSW Department of Industry Water Renewal Taskforce group director Emma Solomon at the water metering community consultation in Moree in August.
NSW Department of Industry Water Renewal Taskforce group director Emma Solomon at the water metering community consultation in Moree in August.

The NSW government has commenced public exhibition of the draft floodplain harvesting monitoring and auditing strategy and announced community meetings in Moree, Narrabri, Narromine, Bourke and Sydney next week.

Water users are also invited to attend a webinar, for those who can’t attend the face-to-face sessions. 

Department of Industry – Water executive director, Rachel Connell said the consultation is about improving the transparency and robustness of how we manage water in NSW and complements the consultation earlier this year on the NSW water metering framework, as well as consultations in October on floodplain harvesting modelling and implementation.

“The meetings will provide an opportunity for the community to talk to experts, learn more about proposed changes to the floodplain harvesting strategy, and provide feedback,” she said.

“The public exhibition of the strategy will be open until February 15, 2019.

“In March we released a consultation paper seeking feedback on the next steps in implementing the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy. This included a proposal for a staged approach to monitoring floodplain harvesting diversions.

“Most of the respondents supported this staged approach, which is now reflected in the draft strategy. The strategy aims to ensure fair use of water resources by supporting the security and reliability of water supply for downstream users while supporting the irrigation industry’s continued access to legitimate floodplain water.

“This consultation gives the community the opportunity to comment to ensure the final strategy is practical and can be implemented effectively,” she said.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator, chief regulatory officer Grant Barnes also welcomed the release of the draft strategy.

“This is a key step in NSW to ensure we have a robust compliance and enforcement framework in place,” he said. 

The public exhibition opened on Thursday, November 29 and can be viewed on the Department’s website at www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/plans-programs/healthy-floodplains-project/monitoring-and-auditing-strategy

People wishing to comment can access the NSW Government Have Your Say website at https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/have-your-say/floodplain-harvesting-monitoring/

The community meetings are being held at:

  • Moree on Monday, December 3 from 10.30am to 12pm at the Max Function and Conference Centre, Corner Heber and Balo Street, Moree.
  • Narrabri on Monday, December 3, from 3.00pm to 4.30pm at Narrabri RSL Club, 7 Maitland Street, Narrabri.
  • Narromine on Wednesday, December 5 from 1.00pm to 2.30pm at Narromine United Services Club, 58 Dandaloo Street, Narromine.
  • Bourke on Thursday, December 6, from 11am to 12.30pm at Diggers on Darling, 23-25 Sturt Street, Bourke.
  • Sydney on Friday, December 7 from 1.00pm to 2.30pm at BCA National Training Group, Level 1, 65 York Street, Sydney.
  • Webinar at 2.30pm on Monday, December 10. To register, go to the following link: https://www.webcasts.com.au/nswdpi101218/

Funding for the NSW Healthy Floodplains Project is provided by the Australian Government’s Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program, as part of the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in NSW.