After the floods that hit Menindee this summer, and the local backlash around how the floods were handled, Minister for Land and Water, Kevin Anderson, has told the Barrier Truth an internal review is taking place at WaterNSW.
The move comes after Barwon MP Roy Butler pushed for a full flood inquiry when Menindee flooding was at its peak, asking Premier Dominic Perrottet to have a root and branch look at how the event unfolded and how it was handled by all relevant authorities. The internal review at WaterNSW would seem to fall far short of what Mr Butler is asking for.
“WaterNSW is now undertaking a review in terms of how the floods were managed from their perspective,” Mr Anderson said when we asked him if he was happy with the government response to the Menindee floods.
“We had water coming from places that we hadn’t seen before for a very long time, like Talyawalka, for example,” said the Minister who was in Broken Hill and Silverton this last week but unable to get to Menindee because of continuing flooding.
“It broke up north and then worked its way back into the Darling a little further south and bypassed some of those gauges. So that’s why we’ve asked for a review,” Mr Anderson says.
“That review is being undertaken now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can manage and if there are options to do it better into the future.”
Having a dialogue with locals in Menindee was crucial to better outcomes going forwards said the Minister, who met with several Menindee locals in Broken Hill on Tuesday where they discussed how to manage water better in all ways, including tourism and native plants and wildlife.
“People come from all over Australia to see Menindee Lakes. It’s the most beautiful part of the world,” the Minister said.
“So, we’ve got to get better at the way we operate those lakes. We’ve got to get a better system in terms of how you keep water in them, and that is what we are trying to do.
“We’re going to get another dry [season], there’s no doubt about that, but we’re also going to get another wet [season]. So, we’ve got to be prepared, learn from what has just happened and get better at it,” Minister Anderson said.