Summary of water trigger

The ‘water trigger’ is a legal requirement set out in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) that triggers a requirement for the Minister to assess large coal mining developments and coal seam gas developments that are likely to impact on water resources. The water trigger was introduced into the EPBC Act in 2013 as a way to minimise negative impacts on local water resources by coal seam gas or large coal mining developments. 

Independent review of the 'water trigger': issues paper

The Commonwealth Government is undertaking a review of the ‘water trigger’ in accordance with section 25 of the EPBC Amendment Act 2013 (Cth).  An independent review of the ‘water trigger’: Issues Paper (Issues Paper) was released on 30 November 2015.  The issues paper sets out a Terms of Reference for the public to respond to.  The Terms of Reference include:

  1. Examine the appropriateness of the regulation including whether it is necessary and well targeted
  2. Examine the effectiveness of the regulation in protecting water resources from the impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining projects, including the role and scope of work ascribed to the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC
  3. Identify any opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the regulation
  4. Examine the efficiency of the regulation in protecting water resources from the impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining projects
  5. Identify any opportunities to reduce or simplify the regulation whilst maintaining its effectiveness, and
  6. Identify any recommended future review points of the regulation.

Making a submission

The public is invited to make submissions in response to the Issues Paper.  We are happy to assist in preparing submissions.  Please be aware that submissions are due by Friday 29 January 2016.