WATER — LICENCE
1042. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the minister representing the
Minister for Water:
I visited Manjimup last week where
proposed fees of $6 668 to renew a water licence are strongly opposed. The fees
are to be initially introduced to the mining industry and then to agriculture.
Local food producers are justifiably upset at these fees, which they regard as
an attack on both agriculture and mining by a Labor government. The
food-producing families appreciate that the mining industry contributed towards
the recently opened $37 million Warren Health Service hospital in Manjimup.
(1) Why does the
Minister for Regional Development not protect food producers and miners in the
regions from these absurdly high water licence fees?
(2) Will the Minister for Regional
Development ask the Minister for Water to withdraw this water tax?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN
I thank the member for the question.
This is slightly complex, because these matters the member has raised fall
within the jurisdiction of the Minister for Water. I am answering these
questions in my representative capacity from information provided to me by the
Minister for Water.
(1) The preamble
to the question is incorrect. The May 2018 state budget introduced fees for the
assessment of water licence and permit applications for the mining and public water
supply sectors only. The fees reflect the annual cost of $720 000 incurred by
the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in undertaking assessments
of water licence and permit assessments for these sectors. These costs are
currently borne by the Western Australian taxpayer. No decision has been made
to introduce water licence fees to other water use sectors.
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is currently undertaking a consultation
process that includes a discussion paper and community workshops in Bunbury,
Perth, Carnarvon, Broome, Manjimup and Margaret River. The consultation process
will inform the government's decision on whether water licence and
permit fees will apply to other sectors.