Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Irrigators feel vindicated

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Southern Riverina Irrigators has welcomed new advice which suggests it is ‘‘unlawful’’ to floodplain harvest without a license if you are using a work such as a levy, storage dam or pump.

This revelation was included in testimony given to a NSW Upper House inquiry into floodplain harvesting last week, by Bret Walker SC.

Mr Brooks said it has been made abundantly clear over ensuing years that the issue of floodplain harvesting must be addressed and brought under a regulatory framework.

However he said subsequent reports, inquiries, and even an Independen­t Commission Against Corruption investigat­ion continue to illustrate and confirm the distortion within this process.

‘‘If the people won’t change then we need to change the people. You can’t have one half of New South Wales subject to federal law and the other half able to completely disregard it,’’ Mr Brooks said.

Mr Brooks said it was good to see the Natural Resources Access Regulator, which is meant to be an independen­t watch dog, get taken to task over a late night email trail that appeared to show NRAR taking direction from the Department of Primary Industries & Environmen­t.

The minister was questioned at length about her input into an NRAR opinion piece that appeared in an edition of The Land newspaper.

The inquiry heard this was because it was the employee’s first ever media release.

‘‘SRI will continue to advocate for our region and highlight the distortion within New South Wales in this licensing process,’’ Mr Brooks promised.

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