The next NSW Government must address the issues holding regional irrigation communities back, including unsafe and insecure town water, and poor telecommunications.
“With cost of living pressures rising from Bourke to Bondi, this election is also about keeping affordable food on our tables, and clothes on our backs,” said NSWIC CEO, Claire Miller.
“We need all political parties to commit to sensible policies that support, rather than continue to undermine, the capacity of farmers to grow food and fibre and generate the vital income that keeps jobs, services and population in their local towns.”
The NSWIC election platform has four key requests:
“Poor water policy affects every Aussie’s grocery cart, and their bill,” said Ms Miller.
“We need to walk away from polarising water politics of the past and embrace the lessons learnt and stakeholder partnerships to shape evidence-based water policy.
“In the Murray-Darling Basin, Sustainable Diversion Limits are already in place, with water use in many valleys consistently lower than the limits.
“Achieving what remains of the Basin Plan will require flexibility on projects, community partnerships and funds to address key degradation drivers such a carp.”
NSWIC is also calling for investment to strengthen climate resilience in regional NSW towns, particularly the infrastructure necessary to cope with increasingly frequent droughts and floods.
“Our members are also calling for funding for communication technology and infrastructure,” said Ms Miller. “Digital connectivity underpins modern water management technology, as well as being essential for human health and safety, yet it is poor or non-existent across large swathes of NSW.”
The full NSWIC State Election Platform is available on the NSWIC website.