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National Water Initiative will benefit Western Australia.



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Press Release Ref: 1607 Published: 21/9/2005 Title: National Water Initiative will benefit Western Australia

The benefits to Western Australia from the National Water Initiative were spelled out today at a roundtable discussion with a range of industry groups and the Western Australian Government.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Gary Nairn, said he was encouraged by WA’s position on water reform and optimistic that the WA Government would now consider signing up to the NWI.

Western Australia is the only jurisdiction that is yet to sign the agreement.

The roundtable presented the Federal Government with an opportunity to engage a range of industry stakeholders on water reform matters relevant to WA and the NWI.

“The signing of the NWI by the Western Australian Government is a crucial step towards achieving national consistency and certainty in Australia’s water management systems,” Mr Nairn said.

“With certainty comes greater security for water users and this in turn will drive real long term investment in Australian industry.

“It is also important that we illustrate to the community the national benefits of the NWI. In addition to the benefits that will flow to the Murray-Darling Basin, a national approach that provides certainty and drives investment will also benefit Western Australia.”

The roundtable coincided with the release of a WA Government-commissioned Irrigation Review, which contains a number of recommendations in relation to reforming the WA water sector and the WA Government’s official response to that review.

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“I am pleased to see that the recommendations outlined in the review are in most respects entirely consistent with provisions of the NWI,” Mr Nairn said.

“I acknowledge that the WA Government response to the review identifies some issues specific to WA that need to be considered. However, having had the opportunity to discuss these today, it is clear to me that the general direction in which the WA Government is moving and the direction outlined in the NWI are very closely aligned.

“When it comes to concerns specific to WA, there is sufficient flexibility within the national framework for regional and local issues to be adequately addressed. This is very encouraging in respect to WA’s participation in the NWI and I look forward to the State now taking the next step.

“The roundtable has been very positive and constructive and I am hopeful we can cooperatively move forward on this important national initiative and that the WA Government signs the agreement.”

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