WATER management of catchments above the Burdekin Falls Dam may be streamlined as the Queensland Government reviews the Burdekin Water Plan.
Its aim is to provide greater opportunities for water trading and economic development in the area, and public meetings are being held to discuss the new plan.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Executive Director Andrew Buckley said the proposed changes to the Burdekin Water Plan were in response to community expectations for enhanced water management and water trading to address emerging demands in the region from new or growing industries.
“The provisions of the draft amendment plan provide stronger, more efficient and more flexible water management arrangements in priority areas of the Upper Burdekin, Cape-Campaspe and Belyando-Suttor catchments above Burdekin Falls Dam, thereby delivering economic benefits and new employment opportunities to this region,” Mr Buckley said.
The provisions include converting 146 existing water licences with a total volume of 62,591 megalitres to tradable water allocations.
An additional 23 water licences with a total volume of 42,463 megalitres will also become relocatable under the plan.
“Proposed changes to water licences also simplify access conditions and reduce administrative costs for water users,” Mr Buckley said.
“The allocation and management strategies are supported by the best available science and will provide certainty for water users given emerging water demands from the irrigated agriculture and resource sectors.
“I acknowledge the commitment given to preparing this draft amendment by the locals who know their water best – the Upper Burdekin Water Consultation Group.
“This group has ensured that a wide range of community views have been represented.”
Public meetings to discuss the proposals will be held at the Alpha Town Hall on Monday, May 28 at 4pm and in Charters Towers at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on Prior Street on Wednesday, May 30 from 10am.