National Water Commission could be scrapped

THE body charged with independently advising the Abbott Government on water policy could be scrapped as the government seeks savings for its May budget.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Environment Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, confirmed on ABC on Monday the National Water Commission was being reviewed.

He told ABC Radio that "everything is being considered", amid the lengthy wait for the release of the Commission of Audit's final report, which ceased operation almost a month ago.

Sen Birmingham said savings were being looked at, including across the water portfolio, but such moves would not undermine promises to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin plan on time.

He said it was important for the government to look at what work the NWC did, and how best to do it, as well as "ensuring that we have good environment and water policy advice".

Reports of the potential abolition follows plans to cut more than 400 staff from the Commonwealth's Environment Department, the likely contender to take over the commission's roles should it be removed.

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