Drillers licences

What is a driller’s licence?

A driller’s licence authorises a person to work as a driller for the construction of water bores.

It is an offence to construct a bore without a driller’s licence or in contravention of a driller’s licence.

Why is a driller’s licence required?

Poor drilling practices, poorly constructed bores, and non-compliance of approval conditions can impact on groundwater by:

  • wastage and degradation through uncontrolled bore flow
  • mixing of groundwater from different aquifers
  • contamination of aquifers from contaminated sites unacceptable impacts to the environment, groundwater dependent ecosystems and existing users.

The purpose of licensing drillers is to ensure they have the skills, knowledge, and responsibility required to protect groundwater from these impacts.

Bore construction requirements which are occasionally produced, reviewed and published by the National Uniform Drillers Licensing Committee (NUDLC), govern the minimum standard needed for licensed drillers installing water supply bores throughout Australia.

The Minimum Construction Requirements for Water Bores in Australia (4th Edition ) provides a consistent standard reference for the licensing of bores and drillers. It outlines the minimum requirements on constructing, maintaining, rehabilitating and decommissioning water bores in Australia. Not complying to these standards is an offence under the Water Management Act 2000, and additionally for drillers, is a breach of drilling licence conditions. To make it easy to see what the actual changes are and how they might affect future bore construction, see Additional information–Implementation guidelines for Edition 4 additional information.


Our department is responsible for managing legislation and policies relevant to driller’s licences.

WaterNSW is responsible for managing driller’s licences, including issuing or cancelling a driller’s licence, and requiring information to be provided about the construction of a bore.


The NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator is responsible for compliance and enforcement of NSW water law including driller’s licence requirements.

For information, go to Compliance.