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NSW Government set to profit from sale of basin water.



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Media Release Mark Coulton Federal Member for Parkes Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation.

June 18th 2009

NSW Government set to profit from sale of basin water

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation Mark Coulton has expressed concern the NSW Government is profiteering from the sale of water saved in the Great Artesian Basin.

The NSW Government are preparing to sell valuable underground water resources that have been saved under the piping and capping scheme that operates within the Basin.

Mr Coulton said he was extremely concerned to hear that a percentage of water that has been voluntarily saved at great expense by farmers in the Basin would be sold at open auction.

He said this created the opportunity for the NSW Government to reap a substantial profit.

“It defies logic that after there has been so much investment in the piping and capping scheme to save water in the Great Artesian Basin the NSW Government is now preparing to sell it off,” he said.

“Farmers who have contributed substantial funds to ensure the success of the piping and capping scheme are concerned that their efforts will now be contributing to the State Government’s profiteering.

Mr Coulton said the move created a dangerous precedent for water users in the Great Artesian Basin.

“While the amount that is being auctioned is relatively small I fear this is a precursor of things to come,” he said.

Media contact: Jeremy Scott (02) 6277 4607/0419 467 546