The Queensland Government is seeking public input on a draft water plan for the vital Great Artesian Basin and several other regional aquifers.
State Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the draft Great Artesian Basin and Other Regional Aquifers Water Plan had been developed to replace the existing Water Resource (Great Artesian Basin) Plan 2006 (GAB WRP) which is due to expire on 1 September 2017.
“The draft water plan provides a framework for sustainably allocating and managing the specified groundwater resources throughout the plan area,” Dr Lynham said.
“The draft water plan aims to provide a balanced water management approach by ensuring existing users and the environment continue to have adequate access to the resource, while also allowing for potential new development and industries.
“It encourages water to be used both productively and sustainably, so that we gain economically, and at the same time maintain these precious water supplies into the future.”
Dr Lynham said interested people had until 5.00 pm on 17 April 2017 to make a submission on the draft water plan.
“Public feedback has already played a pivotal role in identifying issues of particular importance to communities within the plan area or who are affected by decisions made under the plan,” Dr Lynham said.
“Additionally, comprehensive information about the draft water plan, to inform the community and encourage their involvement in the planning process, is available on the Department of Natural Resources and Mines’ (DNRM) website.
“Public information sessions will also be held throughout the Great Artesian Basin region in February and March 2017.
“The Department will continue to consult with a range of organisations including Natural Resources Management bodies, industry and stakeholder groups, the Indigenous community and all levels of government.
“Community participation will continue to be important in reviewing the draft water plan and water management protocol.
“I therefore encourage everyone with an interest in the management of the water resources in this strategically important area to contribute to the final water plan by providing a submission on the issues that matter.”
Submission forms are available on the DNRM website and may be made:
online at Get Involved www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au ;
via email at WRPGreatArtesianBasin@dnrm.qld.gov.au or in writing to
Attention: Mark Foreman
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
PO Box 15216
Brisbane Qld 4002.
Submissions must be received by 5.00 pm on 17 April 2017.
Public information sessions will be held in Alpha, Bedourie, Boulia, Burketown, Birdsville, Charleville, Cunnamulla, Dalby, Gatton, Georgetown, Goondiwindi, Hughenden, Injune, Longreach, Mareeba, Mt Isa, Mundubbera, Roma, St George, Taroom, Thargomindah, Toowoomba, Weipa and Windorah during February and March 2017.
Details of dates, times and venues and how to secure your seat for these sessions will be available on the DNRM website in late January 2017.
Source: Queensland Government. Further information is available by contacting your local DNRM office, emailing WRPGreatArtesianBasin@dnrm.qld.gov.auand on the DNRM website – www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/water/catchments-planning/catchments/great-artesian-basin