The NSW Greens welcome the announcement of prosecutions on water compliance matters, but said the government was dragged kicking and screaming into actually enforcing water laws and had announced the prosecutions today as a smokescreen from a damning Ombudsman’s report on Water NSW providing false figures to the Ombudsman that is due to be tabled in NSW Parliament later today.
NSW greens water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said:
“It’s smokescreen that these prosecutions have been announced on the day when the Ombudsman will table a damning report on how Water NSW provided false figures in an effort to cover up the lack of enforcement.
“This government has been dragged kicking and screaming into actually having to enforce water law. The lack of compliance has undermined public confidence in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
“Water theft has real world consequences for the environment and downstream communities. The Darling River is bone dry or suffering blue-green algae breakouts because of over extraction by upstream irrigators.
“The fish rots from the head down, and successive National Party water ministers have created a culture that has resulted in a lack of compliance and favourable treatment of big irrigators.”
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916