The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water calls for registrations of interest for general reserve unallocated water available under the ‘Water Resource (Great Artesian basin) Plan 2006‘ According to a public notice in The Courier Mail, (13/09/2007), the Department of Natural Resources and Water (the Department) intended to make available unallocated water held as General reserve water identified in North management areas. See storage levels in the regions, below.
Specifics of area available with department: The water would be available through granting of water licences to take water under the Plan. The exact location of the boundary of the Area was held in digital electronic form by the Department of Natural Resources and Water and may be inspected at the department’s office at 203 Tor Street, Toowoomba.
Call for registration of interest: The Department was calling for registrations of interest from those having standing to apply for a water licence under section 206 of the Water Act 2000.
Release as per ROP: The water would be released through the process identified in the ‘Great Artesian Basin Resource Operations Plan 2000’ (the ROP). In accordance with the Plan, water may be granted, as far as practicable from the management units.
Licenses subject to provisions of the Act: Any entitlement granted would be a water licence under section 212 of the Act and would be attached to land. The water licence would be subject to the provisions of the Act. This included that the water licence-
• must be granted for a specified period;
• must state the location from which water may be taken; and
• could be renewed.
No restrictions on numbers: There was no restriction on the number of water licences that could be attached to a particular parcel of land; therefore existing water licence holders could register interest for a water licence.
Approved land and water management plan required: An approved land and water management plan would be required before water could be taken for the purpose of irrigation under the water licence. The application to register would he assessed in accordance with section 15 of the ROP. It stated that some applications could be refused if they did not meet the requirements of the Plan or the ROP.
Unallocated water could be available: Following an assessment of application to register, unallocated water could be made available through either a tender or fixed price process as outlined in the ROP. Alternatively, no unallocated water could be made available.
Selection criteria: Selection of the process would depend upon-
• volumes available;
• volumes for which interests were registered; and
• any other relevant matters.
Requisites: It was required that interested parties wishing to register an interest for unallocated water were not bound to be part of any subsequent release of unallocated water through either a tender or fixed price process.
Mandatory expression of interest: However, to be eligible to apply for unallocated water that could be released through a tender process it was MANDATORY TO REGISTER AN INTEREST FOR GENERAL RESERVE UNALLOCATED WATER.
Applications: For an application form to register an interest in unallocated water or for any related enquiries, please contact: Adrian McKay, Department of Natural Resources and Water,203 Tor Street, Toowoomba; Telephone: (07) 4688 1000;
Fees: Applications to register an interest must be submitted in the approved form and must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $168.50 and submitted by 4.30 pm on Friday 12 October 2007.
The Courier Mail, 13/9/2007