Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Bill will not disappear
Helen Dalton’s water transparency will not be shelved and forgotten.
The NSW Member for Murray said she and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers would continue to ‘‘read the room’’ of Parliament and reintroduce the bill when the time is right.
Mrs Dalton’s Water Management Amendment (Water Rights Transparency) Bill 2020 was defeated 45 to 41 in the NSW Lower House on September 24 after previously passing in the Upper House.
Across both houses, all parties and independents supported Mrs Dalton’s bill, except the Liberals, Nationals and Fred Nile.
‘‘It is part of the National Water Initiative; it has to be done at some stage, so they are going to have to come to the party,’’ Mrs Dalton said.
‘‘(Water Minister Melinda) Pavey is now saying there is no point having a register in New South Wales and that it needs to be done nationally. New South Wales (government) is always puffing their chest out saying New South Wales leads the way — lead the way, it’s got to start somewhere.
‘‘The numbers will change one day, and the minute they change we’ll put it up again.
‘‘Now water has been separated from land, it is really important to have this register. I’m a very private person, but if I have to declare my land, the jobs I’ve got, the shares I won or whatever then I have to do it. That is the policy.
‘‘Unless we do it across the board and have complete transparency, it’s like having a fence with a hole in it.’’
Mrs Dalton’s water bill was a main topic of discussion when she was the special guest at the NSW Farmers and Deniliquin Business Chamber’s Breakfast before Business event on Thursday.
She also spoke about the rejected amendment to floodplain harvesting legislation, and her time spent in Parliament.
NSW Farmers Deniliquin branch chair Amanda Barlow said the breakfast was held thanks to drought funding that was received.
‘‘The opportunity came up to apply for the funding and we thought it was a good way to celebrate coming out of the drought,’’ she said.
‘‘We wanted Helen to come along to give us all an update on what she’s doing, and to bring people up to speed on how she is helping our area.
‘‘‘Our branch has supported her water transparency bill, so it was good to hear she will continue to push this.’’