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Tamworth's call for more transparency on water sharing plans remains unanswered



Tamworth's calls for more transparency on water management in the Peel Valley are going unanswered.


On Friday 29th January Deputy Premier John Barilaro was questioned about local water issues and he responded by calling Tamworth 'ungrateful' for what he describes as a large amount of investment towards water infrastructure in the region.


"Col Murray is an ungrateful Mayor," Mr Barilaro said, "The investment we have seen in Tamworth has been significant."


Mr Barilaro threatened that if, as he describes, the 'ungrateful attitude' continues he won't be back in Tamworth.


The NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian later reeled back her Deputy's comments by saying her government is committed to working with the community.


"We are well informed and well advised when we make decisions," Premier Berijiklian said, "Being transparent as possible is really important and we get that."


Premier Berijiklian went on to describe water as a complex issue and said all necessary processes will be followed.


Shadow Minister for Water Clayton Barr said the response from the NSW Government isn't good enough and the people of Tamworth deserve real answers, not lip service.


"It's unimaginable that a NSW Government would be so arrogant, "Mr Barr said, "Unfortunately the NSW Deputy Premier feels like he is above being questioned."


Tamworth's request for more information comes at the same time the city is trying to review the drought management plan and prepare for future dry periods.


Councillor Mark Rodda is standing by his leader Mayor Col Murray commenting he is 100% correct in asking for transparency.


"As Council does not control the release of water from Chaffey Dam or any State-owned dam, it is vital that our residents and businesses, so reliant on a secure, reliable and affordable water supply, hold the NSW Government to account," Mr Rodda said.


Mr Rodda said the Deputy Premier should have more empathy for a city who has struggled through the longest drought on record.


“John Barilaro doesn’t understand the frustration of a large community being stuck on serious Level 5 water restrictions for almost a year because his government mismanaged our local Chaffey Dam water supply during a period of sustained drought," Mr Rodda said.


Tamworth's Drought Management Plan Review is accepting submissions from local residents until Friday 5th February.


You can have your say by filling out a short survey here.