Extension of licence terms to support water users

Published Thursday, 04 July, 2013 at 02:48 PM

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Andrew Cripps

Water licence holders no longer have to apply to renew their licences following common-sense changes made by the Newman Government.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said all current water licences had been extended to remove the need for a regular renewal process.

“Previously, water licences were generally granted for a maximum period of either 5, 10 or 20 years, after which time the holder had to apply for the licence to be renewed,” Mr Cripps said.

“Extending the term of water licences reduces red tape for water users and simplifies processes for the Department.

“It removes the need for renewal applications and helps landholders manage their properties and grow their business.

“These significant changes to the Water Act 2000 build on the Newman Government’s commitment to support and grow agriculture as a pillar of Queensland’s economy by reducing unnecessary and burdensome regulation.”

Mr Cripps said while the changes simplified processes for water users, they still allowed for the responsible management of water resources.

“Originally, the water licence renewal process was designed to provide an opportunity to review the licence and implement any changes,” he said.

“However water resource plans and resource operations plans, which now cover more than 90 per cent of the State, are the principal mechanisms for ensuring the sustainable management and allocation of water in Queensland.

“The strategic review of water licences will not be lost, and will occur through the development, amendment and periodic review of water resource plans and resource operations plans. These plans can specify an expiry date for new water licences if required.

“This will give water users greater certainty while still achieving sustainable management of our water resources.

“Additionally, the extension of the term of a water licence does not change the chief executive’s ability to amend or cancel water licences where appropriate, including in  areas where water resource plans and resource operations plans do not apply.”

Mr Cripps said up to 27,000 water licences across Queensland would now have extended expiry dates.

Further information about water licences can be found at:  www.dnrm.qld.gov.au

[ENDS] 4 July 2013

Media contact: Paul Sutherland 0428 868 237