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Water Amendment (Saving the Goulburn and Murray Rivers) Bill 2008

Schedule 1 Amendments to the Water Act 2007

   

1  Subsection 4(1)

Insert:

Water for Rivers means the entity incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee in December 2003, arising out of legal agreements by the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victorian Governments to achieve significant improvements in environmental flows into the Snowy River and the River Murray.

2  After subsection 18H(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  Until the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have each achieved the objective of increasing the flow of water in the River Murray as required by the Living Murray Initiative, these States’ water savings programs are to be independently audited and, as soon as the saved water becomes available, the water must be allocated to the Living Murray Initiative and must not be used for any other purpose.

3  At the end of section 21

Add:

Basin Plan not to permit taking water for additional uses outside Basin

             (8)  The Basin Plan must ensure that no water is taken from Basin water resources for use outside the Murray-Darling Basin unless, prior to 3 July 2008, water would have been taken from Basin water resources for that use.

Note:          3 July 2008 is the date the Commonwealth, the Basin States and the Australian Capital Territory entered into an intergovernmental agreement on Murray-Darling Basin Reform.

             (9)  The Basin Plan must not permit:

                     (a)  the construction or operation of water infrastructure; or

                     (b)  work in the nature of a river flow control work;

if the primary purpose of that construction, operation or work is to enable water to be taken contrary to subsection (8).

Note 1:       water infrastructure is defined in section 7(3).

Note 2:       river flow control work is defined in section 8 but has a meaning affected by subsection (10).

           (10)  For the purposes of this section, river flow control work has the meaning it would have if paragraph 8(2)(b) were repealed.

           (11)  To avoid doubt:

                     (a)  the delivery of water for the initiatives of Water for Rivers was an existing use of water prior to 3 July 2008; and

                     (b)  the taking of water for the initiatives of Water for Rivers is not contrary to subsection 21(8); and

                     (c)  the construction and operation of water infrastructure for the initiatives of Water for Rivers is not contrary to subsection 257(1); and

                     (d)  all commenced and provisionally agreed Snowy River environmental flows are preserved and excluded from the provisions of subsections 21(8), 21(9) and 257(1).

4  At the end of Part 12

Add:

257   Prohibited water infrastructure operations

             (1)  An infrastructure operator must not:

                     (a)  construct or operate water infrastructure; or

                     (b)  undertake work in the nature of a river flow control work;

if the primary purpose of that construction, operation or work is to enable water to be taken from Basin water resources for use outside the Murray-Darling Basin.

Note 1:       infrastructure operator and water infrastructure are defined in section 7.

Note 2:       river flow control work is defined in section 8 but has a meaning affected by subsection (3).

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if, prior to 3 July 2008, water would have been taken from Basin water resources for that use.

             (3)  For the purposes of this section, river flow control work has the meaning it would have if paragraph 8(2)(b) were repealed.