Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce believes new legislation passed by parliament will result in greater water security for Murray-Darling Basin communities.
Mr Joyce said the passage of the Inspector–General of Water Compliance legislation demonstrates the Australian Government’s determination to deliver on its commitment to Murry-Darling Basin communities through providing greater transparency around water management.
“The New England warmly welcomes the establishment of the independent Inspector-General, which builds on many years of engagement with Murray-Darling Basin communities and stakeholders,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Basin’s 2.2 million rural and regional water users will now have the assurance they deserve, through stronger compliance, greater accountability and strengthened integrity around Basin water management.”
Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said, “Communities will now have greater protection from water theft and water trading offences, and all water users will be held to the same high bar through consistent guidelines and standards.
Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt said the legislation marked a significant milestone in the delivery of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.
“This new legislation delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthen compliance and enforcement powers in the Murray–Darling Basin by creating new water theft and illegal water trading offences and penalties,” Mr Pitt said.
“Compliance is at the heart of a fair water-sharing system. This legislation significantly strengthens the compliance system in the Murray–Darling Basin.
“The stiff penalties and criminal and civil offences regulated will create real deterrents around water theft and illegal water trading offences, providing communities the assurances they need on water management in the Basin,” Mr Pitt concluded.
More information about the Inspector-General of Water Compliance is available at www.igwc.gov.au