Queensland's cotton growers have welcomed the Independent Audit of Queensland Non-Urban Water Measurement and Compliance, and the Government's response to it.
The Audit was tabled at the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council on Water Reform, which met in Canberra last week to progress the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The Audit made several important recommendations, including strengthening water use compliance accompanied by independent auditing measures, introducing standard metering policy for water extractions, bolstering compliance resourcing, improving transparency and conducting a review of existing legislation and regulations.
"As anticipated, the Audit has identified deficiencies in the current arrangements for measuring the take of water from supplemented and overland flows, along with inadequate government systems for compliance, water accounting and management," says Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray.
"The Government response to the Audit has been measured and steady, with acceptance of the vast majority of the Audit’s recommendations - even if only in principle."
"Cotton Australia has previously stated our industry's commitment to a robust, transparent and effective water measurement and compliance framework."
"We look forward to working with the Queensland Government to improve the effectiveness of the state's water compliance system, in order to rebuild trust in water use management in the state and those who access it."
"However, we have yet to see details in costs associated with the Government's commitment to implementation, and so we hope to work with legislators and regulators to ensure this refreshed compliance system is effective and cost-effective."
Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry.
Cotton Australia media contacts:
General Manager, Cotton Australia
0427 707 868