The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) welcomes the opportunity to provide the NSW Government with some brief comments on the state’s water market information platforms. Our comments – which cover ten broad areas – are made in light of our role as public interest environmental lawyers representing a diverse client base (farmers, First Nations peoples, scientists, conservation groups, community groups) concerned about water management issues in NSW and beyond.1
It is in this capacity that we frequently access the NSW Water Register, the WAL Register, Environmental Water Register and WaterInsights portal (and at times the information dashboards). We also have experience accessing comparable registers and databases in other Australian jurisdictions on behalf of our clients.
We therefore have a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages associated with the suite of registers and platforms available in NSW, how they compare to those available in other states and territories, and the possible benefits associated with the addition of certain features to the NSW Water Register and WaterInsights portal in particular.
By way of general comment, a user-friendly, transparent system ought to be as centralised as possible, avoiding the need to proactively search across multiple platforms and websites for information that may or may not exist. We therefore appreciate the efforts of the NSW Government to consolidate information across the aforementioned registers, portals and dashboards. However, we believe that the inclusion of some additional features to some of these sites would enhance their usability, improve transparency and further consolidate important, water-related information.
Read our full submission through the link below.
1 The EDO is now a national organisation. We accordingly advise on water matters in all Australian jurisdictions.