The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) has released a draft of its proposed submission on the Government’s freshwater reform proposals.
“We’re releasing a draft
version for two reasons,” said EDS CEO Gary
“First, we’re keen to hear any constructive feedback, especially from experts, on whether we’ve got the important points right and whether there’s anything significant that’s missing. We plan to finalise the document for submission this coming Thursday morning.
“Secondly, we’ve had a number of calls for support from different groups wanting advice on preparing their own submissions. To the extent that it helps, we’re happy for people to use our draft as a resource aid.
“In our draft we have made some general comments that reinforce the need for action on freshwater, that provide support for most of the proposed package and that explain that we think some farming interests have misled people about the significance of the regulatory changes.
“In fact the Action for healthy waterways package is very much an incremental build on the previous Government’s reforms.
“The key feature of this latest package is to introduce new limits on sediment, on Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen and on Phosphorus. It also proposes speeding up implementation which is entirely consistent with electoral expectations.
“We are also critical of some aspects of the proposed changes, including clunky drafting of the National Policy Statement, making farm plans compulsory and the absence of a commitment to the establishment of a Freshwater Commission to provide robust implementation oversight.