The Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, has announced that the Water Act 2000 (Water Act) will be reviewed over the next few months. The purpose of the review is to implement reforms that will “reduce red tape and build on the common-sense improvements already delivered last year, such as water licence holders no longer needing to apply to renew their licences.”

In this Alert, Associate Andre Dauwalder and Solicitor Xavier Milne outline the scope of the review.

The scope of the proposed reforms will be aimed at ensuring the responsible and productive use of the state’s water resources to support the economic development of the agricultural, construction, resources and tourism industries.

The scope of review will be:

  • delivering a relevant and progressive purpose for the Water Act;
  • increasing security, certainty and flexibility for water users;
  • reviewing and streamlining water resource planning processes;
  • accelerating the release of unallocated water reserves and enabling responsible development of the State’s water resources;
  • identifying ways to further establish open water markets across Queensland;
  • managing the impact of the resources sector on groundwater; and
  • reducing regulation and simplifying requirements for entities and trusts.

The review will take place over the next few months and the government is welcoming external contributions.