The NSW Government’s Water Accountability and Transparency Bill has today passed in the Legislative Assembly to allow public oversight of all declarations of water ownership in the NSW Parliament.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the Bill is aimed at improving transparency and removing damaging conspiracy theories that cause angst in regional communities.

“This Bill will address anger about water ownership and decision making in our communities, caused by miss-truths and conspiracy theories,” Mrs Pavey said.

“For too long, the Shooters have been peddling conspiracy theories about NSW Nationals being great water barons, acting in secrecy for our own benefit – our communities deserve better.

“Pitting farmer against farmer for political gain is disgraceful and our communities have been doing it hard enough without people like the Shooters planting these conspiracies within our communities.”

Mrs Pavey said Nationals MP’s books have always been open for all to see what ownership of water their members of parliament own, today that has been made clearer with members disclosing water trading.

The National Party in NSW has a proud history of farming, as such members hold various entitlements including a range of water licences for active agricultural pursuits,” Mrs Pavey said.

“This Bill will provide for the 135 members in the NSW Parliament to declare what type of water license they own and if they trade water. It will also begin the process of reforming the public register, whilst protecting the privacy of mum and dad farmers. 

“Despite the Bill passing today in the Lower House, the Shooters Party will attempt to stall progress on this important Bill by parking it in an Upper House committee for review.”