The National Water Commission today released its third biennial assessment of the National Water Initiative and water reform in Australia.
The report highlighted the slow pace of water reform, stating:
“Nationally there has been disappointingly slow progress in the explicit identification of over allocated and overused systems and in restoring those systems to sustainable levels of extraction”
And poor communication from Government agencies to stakeholders:
“…rural stakeholders feel disadvantaged by delays in price data disclosure from environmental water entitlement purchasing programs”
The report also highlights Labor’s poor attitude to the reform process:
“COAG has not yet responded to the Commission’s recommendations in its previous biennial assessment, released in 2009”
Unfortunately, it seems Minister Burke is in no rush to ensure long term capacity in sustainable water management either:
“Currently, there is no national, strategic and coordinated approach to planning and funding science to support water planning and management”
“Minister Burke’s ability to deliver the water reform Australians need is in serious question following his failure to address serious underlying issues highlighted by the National Water Commission’s report,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Mr Burke must address the systemic culture of delay and deferral plaguing the reform process and show leadership in reinforcing and reinvigorating the commitment to reform and action at all levels of Government.”