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Water is the basis for life and is crucially important for the production of high quality, fresh, safe and affordable food and fibre. Water security for the whole of community requires a fair and appropriate balance between the needs of all water resource users. This includes water for rural and urban water users and for the environment. Healthy waterways and wetlands sustain healthy ecosystems across productive landscapes.

How governments choose to manage and allocate water is a key policy area for broadacre agriculture in Queensland and one which AgForce is actively progressing industry and member interests at the state and national level. Environmentally sustainable water use planning is vital to the future production of food. Landholders need security of property rights, such as access to water for livestock and domestic purposes, and certainty about the future availability of water so that they can make sound business decisions.

The Water Act

All rights to the use, flow and control of all water in Queensland are vested in the State and it allows the use of water by authorising persons to take or interfere with water. The Water Act 2000 is the main framework the Queensland Government uses to plan and manage the state's water resources.

Current and previous state governments have been undertaking reform processes to make improvements to the Water Act. AgForce is a key stakeholder sought out by government to provide input into reforms and advocates for the protection of existing rights to water, particularly for stock and domestic purposes, and the transparent and equitable release of further water to support regional agricultural development where this does not represent a risk to existing users or the environment.

Chapter 3 of the Water Act also guides the management of the impacts by the mining and gas resources sector on water resources and provides 'make good' provisions where those impacts affect other users, including primary producer bore-owners. AgForce successfully advocated for an expansion of these provisions and continues to call for a science-based, precautionary approach to firstly avoiding and then proactively managing the risks of resource sector impacts on water resources.

Please log in as a member to access AgForce's submission to the Bill.


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