The NSW Parliament narrowly rejected a water transparency bill today, with all parties other than the government voting for the bill, introduced by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
The bill proposed to force all members of parliament to disclose water licences, and also to provide a transparent register of all corporations and individuals engaged in trading water.
Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said: “Water management in this state has failed the inland rivers and wetlands of NSW and the many people who rely on them.
“This bill was a crucial first step towards transparency, and the government has failed even this.
“It is fundamental that we should know who is buying and selling our water, and whether members of parliament are among the few benefiting from decisions that have decimated our rivers and downstream communities.“
In 2004, all the state governments and the federal government agreed to implement a transparent water register, under the National Water Initiative.
“16 years after promising to implement a transparent water register, the government has again chosen to delay this important reform.”
After passing in the upper house, the bill was voted down 45 to 41 today, with only government MPs opposing the bill, and Labor, Greens, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, and Independent MPs all supporting the bill.