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Statement from Dept of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Statement from Dept of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Details of associated water entitlements/allocations and planning arrangements for the Queensland Murray Darling Basin are detailed in Border Rivers, Condamine and Balonne, Moonie River and Warrego, Paroo, Bulloo and Nabine Water Plans- please see link https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/mining-energy-water/water/catchments-planning/water-plan-areas

As an example of listed water allocations please see on page 32 of Moonie Resource Operations Plan see attached.

Details of Water licences are available here https://data.qld.gov.au/dataset/water-entitlements

We conduct water compliance every day. The Queensland Government regularly advises irrigators of their obligations under issued water licences, responds to complaints as well as conducts an ongoing compliance program that consists of desktop and on-ground audits and water meters monitoring.

Our approach to compliance activities is both proactive and responsive. When there is water in the system, our compliance focus increases and we increase direct engagement.

Around 280 authorised officers undertake a range of compliance activities in water management across the State including monitoring, engagement, investigating alleged breaches and enforcing the law.

Water metering is a key compliance monitoring tool used in Queensland, and under the Water Act 2000 requires that the holder of a metered entitlement must not take water other than through works that have an approved meter.  Further information on water metering compliance is available here https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/mining-energy-water/water/metering/unsupplemented/process

Under the Queensland Water Act 2000 available penalties for offences include:

  • For prosecutions, the maximum penalty for a court to consider and apply upon a finding of guilt for unauthorised water use - $217,365.45 (5 times for a corporation)
  • Penalty Infringement Notices (issued by authorised officers) range from $261 (non-supply of a requested meter read) through to $2611 for unauthorised take of waterThese penalties are only one of the tools used to manage and address compliance in Queensland. Other compliance actions can include education, warning letters, and limiting entitlements in the future to deter repeated breaches.

We have also established the Rural Water Management Program to drive more transparent, sustainable and equitable rural water management in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin region, and across the state, please see link here https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/land-water/initiatives/rural-water-management