Cotton Australia supports the NSW Government's introduction of a new water measurement and metering regime, originally launched in December 2017 and expanded upon in a meeting with industry at Parliament House today (13/3/18).
The Department of Industry today met with Cotton Australia, the NSW Irrigators’ Council and other irrigator and industry groups to explain its new proposed regime in more detail, and outline a timetable for community consultation.
While Cotton Australia welcomed the proposed compliance regime, it also urged the NSW Government to ensure it was resourced adequately into the future.
“Law-abiding cotton growers and other irrigators have been unfairly tarnished because compliance regimes have not been maintained adequately in the past,” says Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay.
“The NSW Ombudsman’s report points out that compliance monitoring has been sub-par for some time. This is a huge concern to irrigators who pay to maintain those structures - they have every right to know the funds they contribute are supporting an effective compliance system. For any compliance regime to work properly, it must be resourced appropriately.”
“Cotton Australia has previously expressed its position that the industry has zero tolerance for water theft, and our stance has not changed. In fact, we are heartened by today’s meeting, which is the latest in a series of measures taken to improve water compliance enforcement at a state and national level.”
“We remain committed to working with government at all levels to further improve water compliance effectiveness. However, we urge regulators to clearly acknowledge each other's jurisdictions in order to avoid costly and unnecessary duplication.”
Cotton Australia urges all irrigated cotton growers affected to have their say and engage with the process. Consultation will take place until 15 April, 2018. Meetings will be also held in regional areas from March 16, 2018, at which growers can make their voice heard. Details are available at the Department of Industry’s website:
Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry.
Cotton Australia media contacts:
CEO, Cotton Australia
0437 695 222