Petition calls for water royal commission

By Country News

More than 10 000 people have signed a petition organised by the Speak Up Campaign, urging the NSW Parliament to request a Federal Government royal commission.

The petition will request a national water register to increase transparency by revealing who owns water across Australia.

Parliament resumed on Tuesday, February 4 and NSW State Member for Murray Helen Dalton will present the petition to the NSW Parliament tabling office.

“Because the petition reached 10 000 signatures, NSW Parliament is obliged to debate and vote on the petition motion,” Mrs Dalton said.

“If Australia’s biggest state supports a federal royal commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, it’s going to be very difficult for the Commonwealth Government to keep saying no.

“We’ve seen Scott Morrison push for a bushfire royal commission after one season of terrible fires, but we’ve had seven years of major corruption and mismanagement under the basin plan.”

The national water register would be an online database that showed water ownership of politicians and foreign companies in Australia and overseas.

“Water traders can manipulate prices, and take advantage of the drought to make money off the back of struggling farmers,” Mrs Dalton said.

Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar said she was shocked how quickly the petition gained 10 000 signatures.

“We launched it around the time of the protest rally in Tocumwal in August and on the first day we got a thousand signatures,” Mrs Scoullar said.

“People feel so strongly about this issue, they were queuing up to sign it.

“We are fed up and want justice now.”