Water management in NSW will improve greatly now politicians are putting aside party differences and working together, according to NSW State Member for Murray Helen Dalton.
Mrs Dalton acknowledged the efforts of newly appointed NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey and Deputy Premier John Barilaro in honouring their commitment to tour the Murray electorate recently.
She said both Mr Barilaro and Ms Pavey listened to concerns put to them from a variety of stakeholders and indicated they wanted to work with communities across the electorate.
‘‘This is just the beginning of some really hard work which needs to be done to rebuild trust and confidence in the region; this week we have a step in the right direction,’’ Mrs Dalton said.
‘‘The key to fixing our water problems is listening to locals, and incorporating their input into water policies.’’
Mrs Dalton attended meetings in Deniliquin and Griffith late last month where she took part in conversations with locals who want to ensure the government works with regional communities to fix current issues and concerns around water policy, management and delivery.
‘‘We are not fighting an election any more. We all want the same thing — a better deal on water for our food producers and communities,’’ she said.
‘‘(Mr Barilaro and Ms Pavey) both want to put the past behind us and focus on what we can achieve for the future, and they have committed to ongoing engagement where we all work together — and I am excited to be a part of that.
‘‘My door is always open to all political parties and alternative ideas. I hope to see the water minister and deputy premier here more often.’’
She said communities were fatigued from changes in water policy that had impacted their businesses across a number of decades.
‘‘As a region we need to roll up the sleeves and work together to help lead an era of rebuilding, which will provide opportunities, not just for the farming sector, but for small business, industry, contractors, employees and NSW GDP (gross domestic product).
‘‘The water minister was adamant she wants clear, concise and consistent messages. Now it is up to us to work together to provide that.
‘‘This is not an easy task, but I am up for the challenge of working with communities to be the conduit to ensure that communication and engagement is ongoing.’’