NSW water resource planning consultation kicks off in the Lachlan and Macquarie-Castlereagh catchmentsDate: 2016 11 23
Water users and the broader communities in both the Lachlan and Macquarie-Castlereagh catchments are invited to comment on the Status and Issues Paper (surface water) for their respective catchment, prepared as part of the development of the region’s surface water resource plan.
Department of Primary Industries Water, Director Water Planning & Policy, Alison Kirk, said 22 water resource plans will be developed for surface and groundwater in the NSW Murray-Darling Basin regions by 2019 - a key requirement of the Commonwealth Basin Plan.
“Today we start the consultation process in both the Lachlan and Macquarie-Castlereagh catchments with the release of the Status and Issues Paper for surface water resources,” said Ms Kirk.
“The first step in developing each region’s water resource plan is identifying the status of water resources in the area. That includes identifying issues around water availability, access and sustainability, as well as looking at existing planning mechanisms.”
Ms Kirk said NSW has set strict principles guiding the development of water resource plans.
“The plans must balance social, economic, cultural and environmental needs of the local communities without restricting availability of water to licence holders.
“Stakeholder feedback is critical to delivering on those principles and meeting the needs of local water users.”
Ms Kirk continued, saying the establishment of Stakeholder Advisory Panels for each of the plan areas was vital for widespread and meaningful stakeholder and community engagement.
“Regional water planners will also conduct targeted consultation with affected stakeholders, while water users are able to contact their local water planner if desired.
“During the development of water resource plans, our door is always open to stakeholders.
“I strongly encourage all interested stakeholders to review the Status and Issues Paper for their respective catchment and give feedback.
“This will ensure that the final water resource plan deals with local issues in a balanced and practical way,” Ms Kirk said.
Copies of the status and issues papers, together with other supporting information can be obtained from the DPI Water website.
The exhibition period is open until Wednesday 11 January 2016. Written submissions must be received by that date.
Media contact: James Muddle 0407 103 507