From Environment Victoria:

Environment Victoria warmly welcomes Water Minister Lisa Neville’s call for an independent inquiry into allegations of water theft and unfair water sharing rules in New South Wales, and calls on the federal and NSW governments to now back this much-needed inquiry.

Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers Campaign Manager Juliet Le Feuvre today said:

“We need to know once and for all what has been going on in NSW and how this has affected everyone and everything downstream. Four Corners’ claims that water sharing rules in the Barwon-Darling favour a few large cotton growers over downstream users and the environment require full and urgent investigation.

“The independent inquiry should have powers to compel witnesses and provide protection for whistle-blowers. It needs to examine water management rules across the Murray-Darling Basin and determine if they are fair and equitable and how we can ensure full compliance from here on.

“Environment Victoria now calls on Prime Minister Turnbull and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to join with the Victorian and South Australian governments in commissioning this independent inquiry.

“Only a fully independent inquiry with strong powers can restore confidence in water sharing rules and allow us to get on with the most important job which is implementing the Basin Plan on time and in full so that the Murray, the Darling and their tributaries are restored to health.”