New South Wales Govt Announced Details Of Comprehensive Water Reform Package

New South Wales Govt Announced Details Of Comprehensive Water Reform Package

New South Wales Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair

New South Wales Water Reform Package

Victor P Taffa

New South Wales Parliament passed legislation to establish the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) in November 2017.

NRAR was established to oversee compliance and enforcement of water laws in New South Wales. The board of the NRAR will provide the strategic and independent oversight needed for water regulation in New South Wales.

New South Wales Government today announced details of a comprehensive water reform package that will:

  • Introduce best practice water management in New South Wales;
  • Establish a compliance and enforcement regime that delivers strong and certain regulation;
  • Ensure transparency and equity in how water is shared, allocated and managed in New South Wales;
  • Build capability across the New South Wales Department of Industry to support effective implementation of water reforms.

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair said establishing the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) is one part of the reform, along with a firm commitment to increase resources by $9.5 Million for compliance and enforcement activities.

“Interim Chief Regulatory Officer, Ross Carter, is already working to revamp water compliance and enforcement, and is joined today by former New South Wales Minister, the Hon. Craig Knowles as chair of the independent board, alongside environmental lawyer and policy expert llona Millar and agribusiness professional Bruce Brown.” Minister Blair said

“New South Wales Government will introduce new water measurement rules with a ‘no meter, no pump’ policy for larger water users, with consultation to begin early next year.

“All water users and the broader public require ready access to information about water use in New South Wales and this is why increasing transparency in water management is a key part of this reform package.

“It’s also very important that environmental water is managed effectively and New South Wales will work closely with stakeholders and Basin states to ensure this occurs.”

New South Wales Government understands the importance of water to our food and fibre producers, the environment and other groups, and these reforms demonstrate our commitment to a fair and sustainable use of this precious asset.


Inaugural Board of the NRAR

Craig Knowles

Craig Knowles has held a range of senior executive roles in the health, planning and natural resource management sectors. He was the Chair of the Murray Darling Basin Authority from 2011-15.

He was also a senior Minister in the New South Wales Government from 1999-2005 covering a number of portfolios including Natural Resources. In 2015 he received the River Murray Medal for ‘outstanding service towards restoring the health of the River Murray’ as well as an Order of Australia.

Ilona Millar

Ilona Millar has more than 18 years’ experience in environmental law and policy and a strong background in natural resource management law. She has been working as Special Counsel with Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Markets Practice since 2008 and has previously been involved in legislative and policy reviews of water legislation.

Ms. Millar has worked for the New South Wales Environmental Defender’s Office in a previous role.

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown is currently a Director of Coleambally Irrigation Co- operative Ltd. He has served as both a Director and Member of a number of State and Federal Government committees.

He has a background in agribusiness and has been General Manager of the Namoi Catchment Authority and North Coast Local Land Services.

Interim Chief Regulatory Officer

Ross Carter

Ross Carter is a regulatory specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the design and implementation of policy and regulation.

His roles have ranged from field-based regulatory operations in rural and regional areas to senior executive positions at both state and national levels. Some of his previous roles include time as the Executive Director Sydney Region for the NSW EPA and an Executive General Manager with the Australian Clean Energy Regulator.



NSW EPA      New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority