Temporary Water Restriction (Macquarie Regulated River) Amendment - repeal of the Access Licence Dealing Principles
Reason for Decision
On 1 July 2019, a temporary water restriction order (section 324 order) was placed on the Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers Water Source, 100% general security carryover in accounts was restricted for general security licences downstream of Burrendong Dam water storage; that is, allowing no carryover to be accessed. This restriction was necessary in the public interest to cope with water shortage, and without it there would be insufficient water available to meet high priority needs. The Macquarie Regulated River Water Source is currently in Drought Stage 4 (critical water shortage). A trade restriction (ALDP order) was placed alongside this order to prevent the restricted water being activated through trade.
Water users have expressed the need to be able to trade restricted water to provide some monetary relief during these severe drought conditions, although they acknowledge that the water cannot be used. In response to this request we are repealing the trade restriction to enable trade.
In response to repealing the trade restriction, the temporary water restriction will be amended to continue to ensure that any restricted carryover amount that is traded cannot be extracted from the Macquarie and Cudgegong Regulated Rivers Water Source until the temporary water restriction has been lifted or further amended.
Also, some take of water is necessary for the testing of new metering equipment as required under the roll out of the new metering requirements. To allow this, the water restriction order has been amended to enable the take of water for testing metering equipment of up to a total of 1ML for pumps larger than 500mm and 0.5ML for all other works. The duly qualified persons testing metering equipment will be required to notify NRAR within 24 hours of any take for testing.
The ALDP is being repealed and the section 324 order is being amended. The order may be amended or repealed before 30 June 2020.
Reasons for Decision
Prohibition of trade – section 71Z repeal
The Minister has made the ALDP order under section 71Z. Section 43 (2) of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides that the power to make an order under an Act includes the power to repeal the order. The ALDP order is being repealed to permit trade of restricted carryover water in response to licence holder requests to generate some funding during drought.
Temporary water restriction – section 324 amendment
Section 324 of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act) allows the Minister or delegate to order that temporary water restrictions within a water source(s) are to have effect for a specified period, if these restrictions are determined to be in the public interest.
Section 43 (2) of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides that the power to make an order under an Act includes the power to amend the order.
The section 324 order is being amended to:
- ensure that restricted water that is traded cannot be accessed
- allow access to water for testing metering equipment (effective 1 November 2019).
This amendment will continue to ensure that the restricted carryover amount cannot be extracted from the water source as originally intended by the temporary water restriction in order to cope with the water shortage.
Emma Solomon, Acting Executive Director - Policy, Planning and Sciences
30 October 2019