Burdekin Basin water plan

We’re reviewing and replacing the Water Plan (Burdekin Basin) 2007 to support the region’s unique environment, cultural values, thriving industrial and agricultural sectors and economic growth opportunities.

With the current water plan due to expire in September 2023, the plan must be reviewed and updated to ensure the region’s long-term water needs can be best met and managed into the future.

Preliminary public consultation

Our preliminary public consultation is now open and you’re invited to have your say on how water is managed in the Burdekin Basin.

To find out more about the planning process, an overview of issues to be considered and how to make a submission, please read the preliminary public consultation notice (PDF, 516.2KB).

We’ve also released a statement of proposals (PDF, 1.2MB) which provides further details on this water plan review, including changes we’re considering.

Your input during the preliminary public consultation will be key to the development of the draft replacement water plan, which will be available for further consultation in 2024.

Submissions during this stage of consultation will be accepted until 5 May 2023 via the following methods:

  • Online by visiting www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au
  • Emailing WPBurdekin@rdmw.qld.gov.au
  • Phoning 1800 822 100
  • By post to:

    Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water
    Chief Executive
    Water Services Northern Region
    Attention: Manager Water Planning and Science
    PO Box 5318

The new plan is proposed to be delivered in 2025.

The water plan area

Underpinned by science and informed by community consultation, water plans balance cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes specific to the catchment.

The Burdekin Basin water plan area spans several climatic regions and the local catchment is the second largest that flows to the Great Barrier Reef and feeds into important floodplains and internationally significant wetlands at Bowling Green Bay.

Careful consideration of the effects of climate change are necessary to understand the impacts on water availability and inform management arrangements, including for proposed infrastructure.

The proposal to include the Ross River and Crystal Creek catchments into the water plan aim to protect Townsville’s urban water supply and enable consideration of future water needs in these areas.

The proposal to include the Black River underground water area in the water plan aims to protect existing entitlements and simplify management arrangements.

Infrastructure proposals in the Burdekin

There are several proposals in the Burdekin region for bulk water infrastructure that have recently or are currently being assessed or under investigation.

The new Burdekin Basin water plan will play a critical role in managing the water needs for this potential new infrastructure in a way that balances the needs for existing and future water users in the region and the environment. The water plan determines the amount of water that is available for all water users and regulates the allocation and management in a sustainable way. Any water infrastructure proposal must align with the outcomes, strategies and objectives of the water plan.

The review of the Burdekin Basin water plan will consider all water users and the environment within the plan area to develop strategies to share and manage the available water sustainably.

Consultation with stakeholders

Early and ongoing engagement is critical to this review, and this is just the first stage of public consultation.

Your input during the preliminary public consultation will be key to the development of the draft replacement water plan, which will be available for further consultation in 2024.

A variety of engagement activities will be used during the development of the replacement water plan, for example:

  • individual meetings with stakeholder groups and communities
  • presentations at peak industry water engagement forums
  • website and social media communication.

We will be engaging directly with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure cultural values, aspirations for water allocation and management are considered as part of the review.

Further information

If you need any further information or wish to discuss the Burdekin Basin water plan with someone from the department, please contact us.

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Last updated: 10 Mar 2023