Buck stops with Niall Blair: water compliance deception not acceptable

Media Release – 27 February 2018

NSW Greens water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham called on NSW water minister Niall Blair to come clean on whether his Department has attempted to deceive the NSW Ombudsman over compliance actions taken on water issues, saying that the buck had to stop with the minister if there has been any deception, given the Westminster system and the minister’s continual attempts to play down and cover up allegations of water theft and corruption.

“Water minister Niall Blair has led by example in his repeated attempts to play down, stone wall and cover up the growing scandal with water theft and compliance in NSW,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“If it is true his Department has now been caught trying to deceive the Ombudsman, then they are simply mirroring the attitude taken by Minister Blair and he must accept responsibility.

“The minister has repeatedly resisted calls for previous Ombudsman reports to be tabled in NSW Parliament to the extent that the Ombudsman is now reporting directly to the parliament to ensure the minister can not block their release.

“The acute and chronic failure in water compliance in NSW is undermining the entire Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“The ever growing scandal in the administration of water in Australian needs a Royal Commission to lance the boil,” he said.

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