THE member for Murray says the Nationals can no longer use privacy as an excuse to oppose her bill for a water register in NSW after she introduced changes on Thursday.
Helen Dalton told parliament her revised bill would "protect the privacy of mum-and-dad farmers by ensuring the public register does not publish personal phone numbers, emails or residential addresses".
Mrs Dalton also amended her original bill to require corporations such as Murrumbidgee Irrigation and Coleambally Irrigation to "disclose all entities that hold water within their irrigation schemes".
"Currently, foreign companies can hide water within the bulk licence of an irrigation delivery company," Mrs Dalton said.
"If they do this, the foreign company's water holdings do not appear on the water register."
Mrs Dalton said there was "no justification for secrecy" on water ownership in NSW.
"Currently, the online NSW Water Register makes it impossible to find out who owns our water," she said.
"People can search for the Water Access Licence number, but the register prevents us from searching for the name of a person or company."
Mrs Dalton compared it to trying to search the White Pages with only a phone number rather than a name.
"Imagine if the White Pages stopped you searching for a surname," she said.
"You could only search by phone number.
"That makes no sense.
"Something dodgy is going on."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mrs Dalton said she had the support of an 11,000-strong petition as well as the Deniliquin and Griffith branches of NSW Farmers.
Her bill would also require politicians to declare their water holdings on the parliamentary pecuniary interests register.
Opposition water spokeman Clayton Barr also spoke on Thursday in support of the bill which will be the subject of further debate next week.