New legislation strengthens water management in Queensland

Published Friday, 15 September, 2023 at 10:05 AM

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
The Honourable Glenn Butcher

  • Water Legislation Amendment Bill passes Parliament
  • Will improve the way water is managed in Queensland and help improve accountability for our precious water resources
  • Extensive consultation with peak bodies and industry informed development of the Legislation
  • New arrangements will help Queensland meet its Murray-Darling Basin commitments, including through telemetry and better measurement of overland flows

The Bill delivers on a key commitment by the government to strengthen water measurement in Queensland to improve management of the state’s precious water sources.  Improving water measurement strengthens transparency and community confidence in how Queensland’s rural water resources are managed.

The Bill strikes the right balance between improving water management and minimising impacts on water users. In developing these new measurement arrangements, the government has worked closely with key stakeholders and peak bodies through an extensive consultation process which has demonstrated broad community support for improved measurement.

Communities, industry and the environment will benefit from more accurately measuring water take through:

  • Increased transparency and assurance that water is being appropriately shared and managed;
  • Providing water entitlement holders with reliable evidence that they are meeting their obligations under their licences; and
  • Supporting the operation of water markets and trading so water can be used where it is most needed, driving economic growth across regional Queensland. 

Implementation of the policy will occur progressively, through a phased, risk-based approach with timeframes giving water users ample time to transition to the strengthened metering arrangements.

The Bill also includes minor technical improvements to the way the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water regulates water supply arrangements, emergency action plans for large dams and notification requirements for water licence dealings.  

Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher:

“The Palaszczuk Government continues to deliver water infrastructure across Queensland with $5.2 billion invested so far. This Bill demonstrates we are continuing to work with water users to get the most out of the state’s water resources.

“Having accurate information about how much water is taken from our river catchments and aquifers is important to make sure we sustainably manage our water resources so that water can continue to be used to support communities, the environment and drive economic growth.

“This Legislation has been developed following extensive consultation with peak bodies and other key stakeholders.

“I thank everyone who has been involved in the consultation and I know this engagement will continue as part of the implementation of the new measurement policy.”


Media contact: Lizzy Aboud – 0474 811 004