Water ownership bill to re-enter parliament

Dalton's water bill amended to require MPs to declare retrospective water interests

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Two-pronged approach for water transparency bill.

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Shooters, Fishers, Farmers MP Helen Dalton will reintroduce her water transparency bill to the NSW Lower House. While, fellow SFF member, Mark Banasiak will introduce the same bill to the NSW Upper House when parliament resumes.

Shooters, Fishers, Farmers MP Helen Dalton will reintroduce her water transparency bill to the NSW Lower House. While, fellow SFF member, Mark Banasiak will introduce the same bill to the NSW Upper House when parliament resumes.

Shooters, Fishers, Farmers' Murray MP Helen Dalton says she plans to re-introduce her bill to reveal water ownership in both the upper and lower houses, with some key amendments.

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The bill will now ask for it to be a requirement for MPs to disclose their water interests retrospective, in that it captures any water licences they may have purchased in the last five years.

Ms Dalton said they would also aim to make it a requirement for the water interests of MPs' spouses to be made public.

She said these amendments were being made to ensure they reveal any MPs who may have sold their water licences or transferred entitlements to their wife or husband while the legislation was delayed.

"I'm sure with the delay politicians have been busy moving their water into their spouses names," Ms Dalton said.

"And being five years retrospective, they won't be able to hide anymore."

The bill will be introduced to the NSW Upper House first by fellow Shooters, Fishers, Farmers party member, senator Mark Banasiak before being re-introduced to the NSW Lower House.

Ms Dalton said they hoped if it passed in the Upper House it would put more pressure on the Lower House.

"People want this bill to go through, farmers need to know who owns our water," Ms Dalton said.

The Water Management Amendment (Water Rights Transparency) Bill was initially introduced by Ms Dalton in February, but it has now expired after debate on the bill was delayed and parliament was suspended until September due to COVID-19.

The bill asked for MPs to declare water ownership on their pecuniary interest forms, change the application process for purchasing water to include details such as company directors and shareholders and change the NSW online water register to allow people to search for the water holdings of individuals, companies and government departments.

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