The Shooters Member for Murray Helen Dalton has flip-flopped on her position of publishing individual water user’s private information online following outcry from her community that it would be a breach of privacy.
Under the weight of evidence in the interim Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report and public concern, Mrs Dalton back-flipped on her Bill which would not address concerns around water speculators or foreign ownership.
NSW Nationals Upper House MP Wes Fang said for almost a year the Shooters had been pushing for details of individual mum and dad farmers who own water to be placed on a public register.
“We have been fighting back against the way the Shooters want to create a water register. The implications would result in a huge breach of privacy for small farmers who own water, similar to what the greens activists did in 2019 with Aussie Farms,” Mr Fang said.
“Thanks to regional communities lobbying against this breach of privacy, Mrs Dalton last week agreed to exclude small farmers from her water bill.
“It’s good to see the Shooters have seen some sense, but we need to get the balance right. Indeed, I believe under her changes, Mrs Dalton’s own water holdings will not necessarily be captured by this register.”
The NSW Nationals in the state government will work with the ACCC, other Basin states and the Commonwealth in implementing any potential future changes to the existing public water registers. This is because we are committed to increasing transparency whilst protecting the rights and privacy of mum and dad farmers.
“The decisions we make today are decisions that we are stuck with into the future, we must take the community with us in the process to get it right,” Mr Fang said.