New regulator to oversee NSW water reform

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The NSW Government has established a new regulator to oversee the implementation of a new comprehensive water reform package.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is one part of the reform, along with a commitment by the NSW Government to increase resources by $9.5 million for compliance and enforcement activities.

The water reform package will:

  • Introduce best practice water management in NSW
  • Establish a compliance and enforcement regime that delivers strong and certain regulation
  • Ensure transparency and equity in how water is shared, allocated and managed in NSW
  • Build capability across the NSW Department of Industry to support effective implementation of water reforms

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair, said, “Interim Chief Regulatory Officer, Ross Carter, is already working to revamp water compliance and enforcement, and is joined today by former NSW Minister, the Hon. Craig Knowles as chair of the independent board, alongside environmental lawyer and policy expert llona Millar and agribusiness professional Bruce Brown.”

The NRAR board will provide the strategic and independent oversight needed for water regulation in NSW.

Mr Blair, said the NSW Government will introduce new water measurement rules with a ‘no meter, no pump’ policy for larger water users, with consultation to begin in 2018.  

“All water users and the broader public require ready access to information about water use in NSW and this is why increasing transparency in water management is a key part of this reform package,” Mr Blair said.

“It’s also very important that environmental water is managed effectively and NSW will work closely with stakeholders and Basin states to ensure this occurs.”

The NSW Parliament passed legislation to establish the NRAR in November 2017. 

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