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New era for water planning in Queensland
The Queensland Government today launched a new era for water resource planning in Queensland with the joint release of the Boyne River Basin Water Resource Plan (WRP) and Resource Operation Plan (ROP).
Executive Director for the Department of Natural Resources and Mines Lyall Hinrichsen said the release of the final Boyne River Basin WRP and ROP together was a first for the state under the Government’s new single process water planning framework.
“Releasing the final plans together ensures consistency between the strategies stated in the WRP for allocating and managing the Boyne River Basin’s water resources and the management and operational arrangements stated in the ROP for implementing those strategies,” he said.
“The simultaneous release of both plans allows implementation of the WRP to occur considerably sooner than under the previous arrangements bringing forward the benefits that come with the water planning framework.”
Mr Hinrichsen said the new plans provided for the Gladstone region’s economic development and the water needs of the environment.
“The WRP and ROP provide a framework for responsible management of surface water entitlements, including the entitlements of existing water users and a high level of reliability and security for water supplied from Awoonga Dam,” he said.
“The plans also provide for healthy and productive habitats that support commercial and recreational fisheries.
“Unallocated surface water totalling 500 megalitres (ML) per annum has been reserved for State purposes such as regionally significant activities, additional town water supply and helping Indigenous communities across the plan area achieve their social and economic aspirations.
“Additionally, a general reserve of more than 1300 ML of unallocated water has been established to support activities including agriculture and 19,000 ML from the strategic water infrastructure reserve is now available for any future raising of Awoonga Dam.”
Mr Hinrichsen said the plans recognised the water needs of licence holders downstream of Awoonga Dam.
“The plans allow all or part of entitlement volumes to be assigned to another landholder on a seasonal basis providing for new development,’ he said
“Releases will also be made from Awoonga Dam during extended dry periods to top up waterholes that support the environment and security for water users.
“There are also common sense exemptions from licensing requirements for stock and domestic uses, and for specific low risk activities that involve taking less than five megalitres per year.”
“The community’s input has helped shape these plans that reflect the government’s agenda to reduce red tape, give water users more flexibility in the way they manage their water and associated business operations and maintain important ecological processes.”
Further details of the Boyne River Basin WRP and ROP are available on the Department of Natural Resources and Mines website – http://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au.
Contact: Brad Muir
Phone: (07) 3199 8253
Last updated 2014-01-02