Above: Wee Waa businessman Kerry Watts, Namoi Water chair Steve Carolan, Mayor Cathy Redding, NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey, Boggabri representative Alfred Priestley, Namoi Water executive officer Jon-Maree Baker and Narrabri Farmers Association president David Scilley.

The state’s new Water Minister Melinda Pavey met with stakeholders from around the district in Narrabri, on Monday.

“I just want to get on the ground and be the best minister that I can be,” said Ms Pavey in an interview with The Courier.

“So today I’m in Narrabri and Moree, and then tonight Bourke. Last week it was Broken Hill.”

“It’s a very constrained environment that everybody is operating in because we simply need rain.

“Everyone is exhausted, they are tired and they know that all the problems won’t be solved until we get rain.

“But we’ve also got the issues of Water Sharing Plan finalisations, MDBA requirements – there is a lot of stress on everybody and that’s a clear message that I’m getting.”

Ms Pavey is the Nationals member for the state seat of Oxley on the mid-north coast and has been given the complex, water portfolio after Niall Blair stood down from the position, just one day after the NSW Coalition won the March state election.

“I just wanted to get on the ground and talk and hear the feedback,” said Ms Pavey.