Water Week

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Compulsory water entitlement reductions under clause 77 of Water Bill allows de facto compulsory acquisition: Labor MP

Posted by waterweek on 20 September 2007

The possibility that the long-term average sustainable water diversion limit or cap would have to be reduced meant that there would be compulsory water entitlement reductions under clause 77 of the Water Bill 2007, said Labor’s Anthony Albanese in the Federal Parliament on 14 August 2007. Clause 77 negates effect of clause 255: “But it is an open question as to how this will be different from compulsory acquisition,” Albanese said. “Under clause 77 of the bill, when that cap is reduced it appears that the water entitlement holder may receive compensation for that reduction. Clause 77 sets out the way in which the liability for that compensation will be distributed. I note that clause 255 of the legislation does not authorise the compulsory acquisition of water entitlements. But doesn’t clause 77 do just that? Clause 77 sets up a mechanism for paying out irrigators for a legislative reduction in their water entitlement.”

Reference: Anthony Albanese, the Deputy Speaker, Member for Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 14 August 2007.

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