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Greens secure cross-party Inquiry into Floodplain Harvesting

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
23 June 2021

A NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into floodplain harvesting has just been established after a successful motion this morning in the NSW Upper House by Greens MP Cate Faehrmann and water spokesperson in response to demands by the community for more transparency around the controversial practise. 

The Inquiry comes after the disallowance by the NSW Upper House of the Government’s floodplain harvesting regulations in May.

The House agreed that Ms Cate Faehrmann will be Chair of the inquiry and Mark Banasiak of the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers will be Deputy Chair. 

“This Inquiry is a win for the communities, farmers and First Nations peoples along the Darling-Baaka River who have been sidelined throughout this process, and will finally get an opportunity to have their voices heard, “ said Ms Faehrmann. 

“We cannot hope to resolve this standoff without providing all members of the community a forum to be heard equally.

“There is huge uncertainty around this form of take, including the massive increase in the volume of take and even whether floodplain harvesting has been legal up until this point. This inquiry will allow us to finally address, and hopefully resolve, these open questions.

“This Inquiry will examine the legality of floodplain harvesting as well as the modelling underpinning the government’s claims that licensing floodplain harvesting won’t exceed the basin cap. 

“Members of the committee hail from across the political spectrum. As Chair I am committed to working with all members in the hope of achieving consensus recommendations as to how floodplain harvesting should be licensed and regulated,” said Ms Faehrmann.


The motion was passed as follows:

  1. That a select committee be established to inquire into and report on the NSW Government’s management of floodplain harvesting, including;
    1. The legality of floodplain harvesting practises;
    2. The water regulations published on 30 April 2021; 
    3. how floodplain harvesting can be licensed, regulated, metered and monitored so that it is sustainable and meets the objectives of the Water Management Act 2000 and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan; and
    4. Any other related matter.

  2. That, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the standing orders, the committee consist of nine members comprising:
    1. Three Government members, being nominated by the Leader of the Government;
    2. Three Opposition members, being nominated by the Leader of the Opposition; and 
    3. Two crossbench members, being Cate Faehrmann and Mark Banaziak.

  3. That the chair of the committee be Cate Faehrmann and the deputy chair Mark Banasiak; 
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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
23 June 2021


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