Opportunity to obtain new water access licence

Media release | 15 October 2021

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is making new water access licences available in 47 groundwater sources across NSW.

The opportunity to buy new shares in these groundwater sources will be through a tender process, with a limited number of shares available in each groundwater source.

Chief Operating Officer for Water, Graham Attenborough, said the available shares in these groundwater sources will be offered in order of highest to lowest bids until all shares are exhausted.

“Previous tenders for limited groundwater access licences resulted in diverse interest, ranging from agricultural industries to mining companies,” said Mr Attenborough.

“The release of these groundwater shares will provide another avenue for new or expanding businesses to buy groundwater, which is important given that opportunities to buy groundwater through trading are very limited in many areas of NSW.”

“The controlled allocation approach also preserves a portion of groundwater to meet the future needs of urban water suppliers and holders of basic landholder rights”.

Mr Attenborough continued, saying controlled allocations of groundwater commenced in 2009 and have been operating since then to allow new access to groundwater for urban, regional and rural industries and communities.

“With a majority of NSW now out of drought, we hope that parties are in a better position to take advantage of this opportunity and acquire new licences to meet the evolving needs of businesses and communities.”

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment invites interested parties to register their interest during the registration of interest period, which runs from 1 to 30 November 2021.

Further information on the process, including details on how to register an expression of interest, can be found on the department’s website at: www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/allocations-availability/controlled