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NSW Government not being pressured by water resource plan deadlines

By Country News

The NSW Government is insisting on taking Murray-Darling Basin water resource plans back to stakeholders for further consultation before they're submitted for accreditation.

NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey said she would not be rushed by deadlines that did not "recognise the pressures put on our rural communities by what remains a significant drought".

It comes after Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive Phillip Glyde wrote an opinion piece pushing NSW to submit its water resource plans.

Mrs Pavey said the plans for eight surface water areas would be taken to stakeholder advisory panels for comment.

“The community has made a huge effort to comment on the draft plans during the public exhibition phase last year,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Now I want to go back to the stakeholder advisory panels with an analysis of key community concerns, and make sure these have been adequately considered in the latest draft.

“It is vital that we close the loop with stakeholders before the water resource plans are submitted to the Commonwealth for assessment and accreditation.”

Mrs Pavey said the panels would convene during March for the regulated river valleys and the Barwon-Darling.

Mr Glyde in his opinion piece said water resource plans were a fundamental part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan that set clear rules on how much water could be taken from every catchment.

He said all other states and the ACT had submitted their plans and Queensland's and South Australia's had been accredited.

“We look forward to the NSW Government putting forward water resource plans for accreditation,” Mr Glyde said.

“Quite rightly, communities need to trust that governments are actively managing this finite resource as they agreed they would.”