NSW water worries to be unpicked
New South Wales will have a statewide inquiry into water management and storage.
NSW Opposition MLCs Mick Veitch and Daniel Mookhey wanted to hold an inquiry specifically into the management of the water supply to Broken Hill, and the management of the Menindee Lakes in the state's far west.
But previous motions were voted down by the Government, forcing them to broaden the inquiry's scope.
“Because of the scale now of this inquiry, it's actually a much bigger inquiry, it's now a range of water issues and sentiments from right across the state,” Mr Veitch told reporters.
The inquiry's terms of reference will now cover an investigation of the suitability of existing storages, and assessments of the social, economic and environmental aspects of water management in Broken Hill.
It will focus on the mitigation of flood damage, including possible infrastructure needs, while looking at the impact of the 50-year flood history on the NSW north coast.
The inquiry is expected to report back next year.
“[That] makes it a much longer timeframe than I would have appreciated,” Mr Veitch said.
“The reporting date of course is one of those matters that we just had to accept as part of the negotiation.
“All of the people from Broken Hill and all the … stakeholders who have an interest in the Darling River and the management of the Menindee Lakes system, I'm urging those people please put in your submissions to this inquiry.
“The only way you can do that is to make a written submission.
“With a bit of luck we can convince the committee to come out to Broken Hill.”