The National Party must be removed from the water portfolio so real and fair regulation can be implemented, according to Robert Borsak in the debate over a Disallowance Motion on Floodplain Harvesting Regulations in the Legislative Council today.

“What has been presented to us by Melinda Pavey and the National Party are one-sided regulations that have not adequately engaged with the Member for Murray or properly represented the position of

the Member for Barwon,” said Mr Borsak.

“The Nationals must be removed from this portfolio for any trust to be regained in water management.

“There is a fundamental issue of trust in what the Minister says, and the Nationals history of water management in New South Wales has been mired in controversy and corruption.

“Be clear, this is not a vote on supporting Floodplain Harvesting or not, as the Nationals would have it framed.

“This is about regulating a practice that is legal albeit under outdated legislation.

“This is about bringing the practice of Floodplain Harvesting under modern law, so it may be metered, and compliance may be enforced.

“But they have ignored the downstream effects of their regulations.

“The SFF will not support regulations that have not gone through the proper consultative process with all Basin stakeholders.

“Water is integral to communities, agriculture and the environment. That is why the whole Parliament should be involved in a debate, that addresses all their requirements.

“A bill needs to be put on the table to get the rules right, not regulation that only deals with a subset of what is a much larger issue.

“In the interest of rural communities, the grubby hands of the National Party must be removed from water management,” said Mr Borsak.

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