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New South Wales water sharing plans.

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Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

New South Wales Water Sharing Plans

A65/2003 17th June 2003

I welcome the New South Wales Government’s decision to defer the enactment of its water sharing plans from 1 July 2003 until 1 January 2004.

It is extremely encouraging news. It shows that the New South Wales Government is taking the water issue seriously and wants to see it resolved in the best interests of farmers, the environment and the wider community.

In his media release, the NSW Natural Resources Minister, Craig Knowles, said:

The decision follows the recent announcement by Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson that the Commonwealth is developing a national water plan -- details of which are scheduled to be released at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in August…

A six month delay in New South Wales will be inconsequential if we can get this right as a nation and initiate workable solutions that will benefit the economy and the environment for generations.

I am already scheduled to meet Premier Carr and Minister Knowles later this week. The Commonwealth will continue to work closely and co-operatively with NSW and the other state and territory governments to complete the development of the National Water Initiative.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989

Ph: 02 6277 7680 Email: Fax: 02 6273 4126