An independent inquiry in response to a Four Corners investigative inquiry into the management of NSW water across the Murray-Darling basin has issued its interim report. The report focused on the capacity of the Department to support compliance and enforcements measures regarding water access across the state. The interim findings suggest that compliance and enforcement of water use in NSW has been poor with structural deficiencies in the Department undermining public confidence in the system. Specifically, it was identified that in the NSW public service body responsible for water management there is ‘a culture of tolerance for expedient work practices in the interests of “outcomes”, but at the expense of due and proper process’. The report proposed the Water Management Compliance Improvement Package to address the both administrative and structural problems. The full report is forthcoming.
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