The National Irrigators Council (NIC) welcomes the appointment of The Hon. Kevin Anderson MP as the new Minister for Land and Water, and acknowledges the outgoing Minister, The Hon. Melinda Pavey MLC.

NIC CEO Isaac Jeffrey said: “NIC congratulates Kevin Anderson on his appointment to the new Perrottet Government as the Minister for Land and Water. Water is one of the most complex public policy areas and we wish the new Minister well in the role.

“Mr Anderson has had a distinguished career and has served NSW well in the Ministry as Better Regulations Minister, and I am sure he will deliver for the people of NSW as Water Minister.

“NIC is a bipartisan advocate for the irrigated agriculture sector which feeds and clothes Australia and the world. We look forward to working with the new Minister.

“New South Wales has a number of urgent and important water matters to be addressed, including the Better Bidgee and Baaka projects which replace the Menindee and Yanco Creek Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) projects.

“NIC encourages the incoming Minister to assess these ‘rescoped projects’ and, for transparency reasons, provide details to the public as soon as possible. They will include a mix of infrastructure investments to improve fish passage, better supply for town water and increased reliable waterways flows. What we do not yet know is the estimated offsets calculated within the rescoped projects towards the 605 GL SDLAM target.

“We would also welcome the Minister reaffirming the Federal Government’s 2020 commitment of ruling out buybacks to not put further pressure on irrigated agriculture communities.

“NIC also highlights the importance of ensuring that all water use is brought under the Basin Plan limits and that it is properly measured and monitored while not undermining the practical need for farmers to get on with growing our food and fibre.

“NIC thanks the outgoing Minister, Melinda Pavey for her contribution to water policy and management. We have appreciated her ongoing open dialogue and consultation, and we wish Ms Pavey well for the future.

Media Contact: Isaac Jeffrey 0407 083 890