Water inquiry urged

September 12, 2017

The re-set announced by Water Minister Lisa Neville is promising better delivery of the project, with better transparency and communications.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville has renewed calls for an independent investigation into allegations that some NSW landholders were stealing water from the Murray-Darling system.

The allegations were outlined in an ABC Four Corners report.

Ms Neville told parliament last week it was clear that Victoria had already done much of the heavy lifting when it came to the delivery of water under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

‘‘For many of our irrigators right across the river, the allegations that were made on Four Corners have caused significant distress and concern, particularly in the context of the additional 450Gl of water that is required to be provided.

‘‘Victoria has been very clear on calling for an independent investigation.’’

Ms Neville said the investigation being carried out by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority was not independent.

‘‘We need to look at the actions of the MDBA and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to ensure that the proper oversights and transparencies are in place to understand what they knew and what they did to take action to prevent this and to ensure this does not happen again.’’

She has asked Federal Water Minister Barnaby Joyce to call an early ministerial council.

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