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Right decision to maintain independent water regulator

15 March 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to retain the National Water Commission’s position as an independent body overseeing water reform implementation by all jurisdictions.

NFF President Jock Laurie said that the independent review of the Commission had noted the important role the Commission has played in overseeing the implementation of the National Water Initiative.

“Water reform continues to be a major priority for Australia’s farmers and the agricultural sector, including of course, those in the Murray-Darling Basin,” Mr Laurie said.

“We have long believed that the functions of the Commission must remain independent – and we raised this during the review of the Commission.

“We recognise that the Commission will continue to play a critical, and perhaps most importantly, independent role in the audit, assessment, and monitoring of the National Water Initiative now on a triennial basis, and will also undertake the new function of auditor of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, as required by the Water Act 2007.

“We believe that the principal of equal treatment of social, economic and environmental in the National Water Initiative must also be recognised in the final Murray-Darling Basin Plan – and the Commission must play an important role in assessing this,” Mr Laurie said.

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