Changes to water legislation

The Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) commenced on 20 September 2023. The Bill made changes to our legislation to ensure our regulatory framework remains fit for purpose, delivers efficiencies for water users and allow us to implement the changes necessary to deliver strengthened water measurement in Queensland.


Submissions on the Bill closed on 10 November 2022. Seventeen submissions were received on the Bill from individuals, peak body organisations, environmental groups and councils.

Public hearings for the Bill were held on 14 November 2022 by the State Development and Regional Industries Committee.

You can read the committee’s final report on the Bill on the committee’s webpage.

Strengthening water measurement

The primary purpose of the Bill is to establish a clear and transparent framework for implementing Queensland’s strengthened non-urban water measurement policy (PDF, 2.1MB).

The changes made in the Bill will help us achieve the policy’s objectives, including:

  • increasing the coverage and standard of metering of non-urban water take
  • providing for farm scale measurement of overland flow water take
  • receiving timely and accurate data on water take
  • ensuring fit for purpose compliance and enforcement for measurement of water take.

These objectives are essential for ensuring our water resources are being managed sustainably.

After the changes to the Water Act commence, the Water Regulation 2016 will be amended to detail the operational and administrative requirements for measurement devices and identify which water entitlements will be subject to measurement requirements.

Read more about strengthened water measurement.

Other changes

The Bill includes amendments to our regulatory framework to ensure it remains fit for purpose, such as ensuring we can appropriately consider water licence applications that may impact other water users or the public interest and clarifying that the requirements for drilling a water bore also apply when drilling a test hole.

The Bill also made minor amendments to the Water Act 2000, Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 and the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009 to help strengthen the administration of this legislation.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2023