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New Water Management Legislation in NSW: A Review

New Water Management Legislation in NSW: A Review

Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
Briefing Paper No. 08/2000 by Stewart Smith

The Council of Australian Governments and the NSW Government have introduced wide ranging reforms to the administration of water in the State and across the nation. The catalyst for this action has been the widespread degradation of both rivers and their catchments. The Council of Australian Governments outlined a Communique of change in 1994, and this is presented on pages 1 to 3.

In 1995, the NSW Labor Government introduced water reforms almost immediately. These were followed up with further reforms in 1997. In December 1999 the Government released a White Paper foreshadowing legislative reform. Subsequently, the Water Management Bill 2000 was released on 22 June 2000.

This Briefing Paper summarises the White Paper and submissions to the Paper from two major peak non-government organisation groups – the NSW Farmers Association and the NSW Nature Conservation Council. At the conclusion of each section of the White Paper, the relevant section of the Water Management Bill is then discussed.