$14.8M to improve water efficiency

(From left) Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson, Josh Small, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole and Bruce Simpson.

In an effort to make life easier for our farmers, the NSW Government has allocated $14.8 million in the 2022-23 Budget to modernise and improve water licensing and approval processes.

Meeting in Deniliquin on Tuesday, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole and Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson announced the funding and spoke with local farmers and landholders Josh Small and Bruce Simpson about water issues facing the region.

“Each year about $10,000 farmers and businesses go for a water licence, and the paperwork that comes with it can be time consuming,” Mr Toole said.

“This funding will help create a more streamlined system that will cut red tape, making the process quicker and easier to navigate and cutting down time spent away from the paddock.”

Mr Anderson said the NSW Government has listened to the opinions of businesses and communities who voiced concerns about the current systems.

“On the back of the feedback which viewed the current system as clunky and inefficient, the government is now focusing on redesigning the processes to remove barriers, remove brick walls and improve efficiency,” he said.

“We understand how important water is, particularly to regional communities, and we want to make life easier for people as they conduct business in New South Wales.

“Farmers want to be out farming, not filling in paperwork.

“That is why I’m so excited to have secured funding to improve the water licensing framework and implement better online integration between assessment agencies.

“This will help people know which agency is dealing with their application and who best to contact if there is a problem or for information.

“In the long run this funding will reduce administrative costs and help strengthen the efficiency and sustainability of water use across New South Wales.”

Mr Anderson said work has already begun on the new systems, which will make a huge difference to the life of farmers and allow more time to be spent on the farm.

“We are relying on the continuing input from farmers throughout this process,” he said.

“But the feedback we are getting is that the updated systems will provide relief for farmers, to get out of their road and get them going.”