HAVE YOUR SAY

Community feedback on improving NSW online water trading registers.

A water law breach on Gloucester River was investigated in January 2020 at the height of the drought when river levels were extremely low across the region.
A water law breach on Gloucester River was investigated in January 2020 at the height of the drought when river levels were extremely low across the region.

The NSW Government is improving transparency in water management and trading by calling on communities to have their say on improving the State's online water trading registers.

Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen said the government is seeking feedback about what information the communities need to improve access and public confidence in the water market.

"NSW has led the way in improving transparency and already provides access to a number of publicly searchable registers including the NSW Water Register and the Water Access Licence Register," Mr Johnsen said.

"Now, we have an opportunity to improve access to these registers and make it easier for everyone to understand.

"We're calling for feedback from the community on what improvements are needed, how we can implement these while still protecting the privacy of our farmers, and what other gaps in information need to be filled."

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the consultation will focus on specific improvements that can be implemented to the existing public water registers and other water market information platforms.

"The ACCC's recent interim report into the Murray-Darling Basin water markets found increased transparency can be achieved without impacting on the privacy of our farmers," Mrs Pavey said.

"Buyers, sellers and the public also need to have confidence that the market is working for the economy and the environment, and to achieve that we need to provide access to the right information."

"Water Transparency is currently front of mind in our communities and we have created multiple platforms to improve it in NSW.

"We need a governance framework that ensures trading rules and regulations are developed and implemented with a Basin-wide perspective, and in close connection to the river system's physical characteristics.

"We need to ensure that we are balancing transparency while protecting the privacy of our farmers."

Public consultation will run for a two-month period until February 2021. Visit www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/licensing-trade/trade/have-your-say for further information and details on how to provide your feedback.