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Law Reform · Energy & Climate

Murray-Darling Basin water regulation update

31 July, 2018

Amidst concerns for water use in the Murray-Darling Basin region, EDO Qld is working with government and stakeholders to ensure changes to the water regulation framework are sufficiently strong to better protect our water resources.

The Queensland Government has committed to providing a more transparent, equitable and sustainable management framework for rural water use throughout Queensland, through the new ‘Rural Water Management Program’.

The action is in response to the concerns raised in recent years around the management and regulation of water use in the Murray-Darling Basin region.

More specifically, the program responds to a number of recommendations made by the following reports in reviewing the effectiveness of Murray-Darling Basin water regulation:

The Independent Audit specific to Queensland found improvements were needed to:

  • governance, monitoring and reporting on the success of the framework;
  • stronger compliance enforcement;
  • more transparency in water resource management, use and compliance information;
  • a new ‘metering policy’ to improve standards, validation and maintenance oversight of metering;
  • additional resources for management and information systems and staff;
  • better consistency in water planning and regulation; and
  • more reliable and accurate water harvesting and overland flow measurement and monitoring.
  • The Qld Government accepted, or accepted in principle, the recommendations made in the Independent Audit. You can find the Qld Government response here.

The Government has committed to improvements across four areas:

  • appropriate regulatory frameworks
  • strengthened metering
  • transparent water information
  • robust compliance that builds community confidence.

You can find more information on this work schedule of proposed changes to tighten our regulatory framework via the Government's website.

EDO Qld are an active participation on the Water Engagement Forum, a collection of key stakeholders concerned about the proper regulation of our water resources, including QFF, AgForce, NRM Regions Qld and QRC, amongst others.

We are working closely with the government and other stakeholders through this Forum to ensure that the changes to the water regulation framework are sufficiently strong to better protect our precious water resources, for all water users and our environment.

We will keep updating you on this work program, particularly as policies or proposed laws come out for public consultation.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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