No comment from minister

By Geoff Adams

Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt has welcomed the completion of the new Sefton report, but has not answered questions put to him by Country News.

Instead, Mr Pitt has urged stakeholders to engage with the draft report and respond with feedback.

“The government established the panel to conduct the review in June last year and I thank them for the work that has gone into preparing this draft report,” Mr Pitt said in response to questions by Country News.

“Having recently travelled through the southern Murray-Darling Basin region, the report confirms many of the issues raised with me by farmers and other stakeholders about their current challenges they face, in the context of the ongoing drought.

"It is very important that people take the opportunity to provide feedback to the draft findings that will be included in the final report. which I’m expecting to receive from the panel at the end of April.

“I am also expecting reports in coming months from the interim inspector-general, Mick Keelty, and an ACCC inquiry on issues relating to integrity and transparency in the Murray-Darling Basin water market,” Mr Pitt said in a statement.