NSW, Vic governments undermine plan

THE NSW and Victorian governments are undermining the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, a former top Federal Government water official has told a royal commission.

Former Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said the Federal Government should consider financially penalising states that fail to comply with their obligations under the historic Murray-Darling Plan.

Mr Papps will appear before the South Australian Murray-Darling Royal Commission today.

In a submission published by the commission, Mr Papps said it was clear the NSW Government intended to undermine or weaken environmental water provisions in Water Resource Plans.

Mr Papps also said the Victorian Government appeared to be attempting to subvert the plan’s spirit and intention of protecting existing environmental water flows.

“NSW and Victoria constitute a large and vital part of the Murray-Darling Basin and their lack of commitment to a full and proper implementation of the plan seriously compromises its environmental outcomes,’’ Mr Papps said.

Elements of the NSW irrigation industry wanted the plan repealed, he said.

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