The NSW Upper House has just disallowed a floodplain harvesting regulation for the fourth time because, once again, the Water Minister has failed to produce regulations that would protect the environment and downstream communities.
The Government’s Water Management (General) Amendment (Floodplain Harvesting Access Licences) Regulation 2022 was disallowed by the Legislative Council this evening by a vote of 16 to 15. The regulations would have allowed the Government to issue floodplain harvesting licences and entitlements with a value of potentially more than $1 billion.
“We all want to see floodplain harvesting licensed, but it needs to be ecologically sustainable and within existing legal limits,” said Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and water spokesperson.
“The Environment Minister’s own department advised him that the Government’s floodplain harvesting policies were inadequate to protect the Darling-Baaka and Menindee Lakes.
“These regulations are just about ensuring the National Party’s big irrigator mates in the north get handed $1 billion in water rights for free.
“I’d call on the Minister to sit down and work out a path forward to regulate floodplain harvesting in a way that addresses the communities’ concerns but I know he has no interest in that. The only way to protect the Darling-Baaka is to vote out the Liberal-Nationals,” said Cate Faehrmann.