Why should huge mining projects have statutory rights to water? Or large scale projects be guaranteed water prior to full assessment? A new Bill would open the door to degradation of surface and ground water by reducing regulation.
The Water Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 would risk over-allocation of resources, and put the assessment and management of water impacts in the hands of corporate water users.
EDO Qld is concerned about what is proposed in the Bill, including:
- Deregulation of water use
- Weakened impact assessment of large scale projects
- Weakening of mining water use regulation
- Encouragement of tradable water allocations
- The removal of ‘ecologically sustainable development’ as one of the purposes of the act.
The changes are particularly concerning since the amendments are proposed without adequate understanding of the current and likely future impacts from our water use.
In July EDO Qld also made detailed submission to the consultation regulatory impact statement (RIS) that detailed proposed changes to the Queensland Water Act 2000. For more information, see here.