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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 449 asked in the Legislative Council on 9 May 2019 by Hon Diane Evers

Minister responding: Hon D.J. Kelly
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

WATER LICENCES — ALLOCATIONS

449. Hon DIANE EVERS to the minister representing the Minister for Water:

I have had a number of constituents contact me regarding high latent volumes of unused or underutilised entitlements in areas that are highly or fully subscribed.

(1) Does the department regularly review licence allocations against the amounts actually taken?

(2) If yes to (1) —

(a) how often are they reviewed;

(b) what are the consequences if a licensee consistently takes less than their allocation by a significant amount; and

(c) are licensees required to justify why allocations are greater than their existing and previous usage?

(3) If no to (1), why not?

(4) In areas that are fully allocated and requests for licences have been received, will the minister consider reviewing existing allocations with a view to use significant latent allocations to accommodate new requests?

(5) If no to (4), why not?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. The following information has been provided by the Minister for Water.

(1) Yes.

(2) (a) The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation reviews licensed allocations against the amounts actually taken when licences are assessed for renewal and as part of proactive, risk-based compliance monitoring programs and when licensees are required to report water usage as part of their licence conditions. New water metering regulations will require by 31 December 2020 that all licensees taking over 10 000 kilolitres per annum must meter and report their usage, which will assist in determining actual use.

(b) Under the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation's 2003 ''Statewide Policy No 11: Management of Unused Licensed Water Entitlements'', the department may recoup part or all of a licensed water entitlement that is consistently not being used.

(c) Licensees are required to comply with the terms, restrictions and conditions of their licence, which may include reporting on usage. The department's licence renewal and water recoup processes include assessments of water usage against licensed allocation.

(3) Not applicable.

(4) The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation considers unused water entitlements in its water allocation planning, review and evaluation processes. If the resource is not over-allocated, recouped unused entitlements may be returned to the pool for reallocation to other applicants.

(5) Not applicable.