Country News

Block attempt on petition

By Geoff Adams

A petition calling for a royal commission into water has been accepted by the New South Wales parliament,but only after a last minute attempt by an unnamed National Party member to block a motion relating to the petition.

Member for the New South Wales seat of Murray, Helen Dalton took the petition, containing 11,000 names to the parliament today (Thursday) and was accompanied by irrigators and farmers from the southern Riverina.

Mrs Dalton was told an MP had raised an objection to her motion on the grounds of conflict of interest because she owned water.

Mrs Dalton says she is the only member of the House to have declared her water interests, and this was an attempt to block debate to protect politicians and donors who own water but have not declared it.

Speak Up 4 Water chair Shelley Scoullar said the unsuccessful attempt to block the presentation was an example of the games being carried on over water, and one of the reasons that they wanted a royal commission.

The petition also called for the establishment of a national water register.

Although the parliament eventually accepted the petition, the government is not bound to accept its request.