The Australian Greens are calling on NSW regional water minister Niall Blair to be sacked after revelations Water NSW grossly misled the Ombudsman on water compliance and prosecutions last year.
“New South Wales keeps threatening to walk away from the Murray Darling Basin Plan but the culture of corruption and cover up in the NSW Government and the body it is responsible for is what is actually putting the plan at risk. Niall Blair can’t cover up this sabotage with silence and he should be sacked,” Australian Greens Murray Darling Basin spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Whether it’s in NSW or in Canberra, whenever the Nationals get their hands on the water portfolio, public transparency disappears just as fast as public tax dollars. The extent of that wrongdoing grows murkier and more alarming as weeks and months go by.
“River communities are crying out for instances of non-compliance and water theft to be prosecuted, to help restore faith in the Murray Darling Basin Plan and to show that every state is doing the right thing by the river. NSW continues to flout the rules, fudge the numbers and undermine the plan and action must be taken.
“It’s behaviour like this that shows why the Greens’ disallowance to stop water being ripped away from the environment was the right decision by the Senate.
“The Greens have a second disallowance motion before the Senate to block changes to the Plan that would allow for more water to be stripped from the environment. We cannot consider changes to the Plan while this saga continues and will not be bullied by the state at the centre of this ongoing scandal.
“The idea that Water NSW would be submitting dodgy figures to the Ombudsman under the Water Minister’s watch would be sickening to all decent, hard-working families who rely on the Murray Darling Basin. How much further does this need to go before Niall Blair is held to account?”