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National Water Commission – or Corporation?

Distilled is the monthly newsletter produced by the National Water Commission, the government-appointed national body ostensibly responsible for "driving progress towards the sustainable management and use of Australia's water resources" - a gloriously vacuous aspiration, even by institutional standards. An extract from the current issue is revealing:

"Stakeholders urge more action on water reform:

Water industry stakeholders have urged the Commission to continue to fearlessly identify areas where further and faster reforms are needed to get water reform "back on track". The Commission's stakeholder forum has underscored the importance of collaboration as part of a renewed commitment to national water reform by all governments, industry partners and private sector stakeholders."

Water privatisation agenda dominates 'commission'

Cursory inspection of the membership of the National Water Commission's 2009 Stakeholder Forum reveals a clear predominance of groups, governmental and private, which, behind the scenes, are passionately pushing the water-privatisation agenda.

Australian citizens excluded from representation on Commission

Moreover, notable by their absence in the extensive list of entities considered to be worthy of forum membership are groups representing Australian citizens, or customers - the term most of the members would no doubt prefer to use.

Thankfully however, in the cities and on the land, communities Australia-wide are increasingly aware that the definition of "reform" has been corrupted by those advocating removal of water from public control and by the accompanying flotilla of large-scale investors who view our water as a tradeable commodity rather than a vital national resource.

Fair Water Use demands that, collectively and individually, the current membership of the NWC Stakeholder Forum ceases hiding behind the banner of "water reform", states their position on water privatisation and explains to all Australians precisely what “track” they would like to “get back on”.

MEDIA RELEASE: 6th June 2009 from Fair Water Use Australia fairwateruse@internode.on.net

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