National Party Water Minister Melinda Pavey has taken the extraordinary step of going to war with her own Natural Resources Commissioner, Dr John Keniry in a desperate attempt to absolve the National Party of responsibility for the water crisis in Western NSW.
Minister Pavey is now at war with one of Australia’s most eminent water scientists. She has taken aim at the work of her own Natural Resources Commissioner who has reported that the 2012 Water Sharing Plan had brought on the “hydrological effects” of drought 3 years early.
With a number of Liberal Ministers supporting the recommendations made by the Natural Resources Commissioner, Minister Pavey has now sought to undermine the authority of the Commissioner’s report to absolve the National Party of responsibility for this disaster.
Minister Melinda Pavey is the fourth National Party Water Minister since the Coalition was first elected in 2011. Katrina Hodgkinson designed and signed off on the now infamous 2012 Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon Darling River system. Her successor Kevin Humphries reportedly told irrigators to forget about the rules and take as much water as they wanted, while at the same time cutting the Department of Primary Industries’ water inspectors.
Niall Blair was sent out alone without the support of the Premier or Deputy Premier to Western NSW as the shocking fish kills throughout the Barwon Darling System happened.
Following the March 2019 Election, Minister Blair announced his resignation from the Cabinet that left him high and dry.
NSW Shadow Minister for Water Clayton Barr said: “This desperate attempt by Melinda Pavey to absolve the National Party of responsibility for the water crisis in Western NSW is just unbelievable.”
“The Minister knows the National Party is up to its neck in this disaster, which is why she is blatantly trying to shoot the messenger, her own Natural Resources Commissioner”.
“It’s time for Premier Berejiklian to end this disastrous period of mismanagement of the water portfolio and remove it from the grasp of the National Party.”