The NSW Nationals in the state government are calling communities in coastal areas to have their say on whether existing harvestable rights limits in coastal draining catchments are sufficient.
The Department released a discussion paper and hydrological modelling in December 2020 and is still seeking public comment and feedback.
NSW Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said the government was reviewing coastal harvestable rights to see if an increase in rights is possible to improve water security for rural farmers and landholders.
“The current harvestable right in coastal draining catchments allows landholders in these regions to harvest 10 per cent of rainfall runoff from their properties,” Mr Franklin said.
“Higher rainfall on the coast means we could support more agricultural ventures through increased harvestable rights for some areas, and there are few major public storages on the coast to hold water for agricultural or stock and domestic use.
“We encourage community members to have their say during the public exhibition period and if possible, participate in one of the additional public face-to-face consultation sessions or the upcoming interactive webinar.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said communities along the coast experienced the worst drought on record, followed by extreme bushfires where some towns were on the verge of running out of water.
“For businesses and industry, the ability to capture this rainfall runoff without the need for a water access license or work approvals is vital to their viability and we want to ensure the water management framework continues to support them,” Mrs Pavey said.
A face-to-face information session will take place on Monday, March 22 in Lismore. Participants will need to register to ensure COVID-19 restrictions can be adhered to.
A public webinar will take place between 4pm and 6pm on Wednesday, April 7.
- For more information including fact sheets and video summaries or to register your attendance, please visit: https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/licensing-trade/landholder-rights/harvestable-rights-dams/review/public-consultation
The Coastal Harvestable Rights Review discussion paper was released in December 2020, and is also available to view on the Department’s website.
Due to increased interest and the continued relaxation of COVID-19 regulations, the public consultation and submission period has been extended and is now open until Sunday, April 18.