Pioneer Valley water plan

The process to replace the Water Plan (Pioneer Valley) 2002 has commenced. We need to develop a replacement plan to address current and emerging issues within the water plan area in order for us to continue the sustainable management of water in the area.

The water plan review timeline

October – November 2022 Commencement of the Pioneer Valley water plan review and preliminary public consultation open
November 2022 – July 2024 Policy development, targeted stakeholder engagement and technical assessments
Mid 2024 Draft water plan released for public consultation
September 2025 Pioneer Valley water plan expires, final replacement water plan released
Beyond September 2025 Continued engagement with key stakeholders, monitoring and reviewing

Preliminary public consultation notice

Submissions on the preliminary public consultation notice closed on 18 November 2022.

We will consider all submissions as we develop the replacement Pioneer Valley water plan.

Postponement of water plan expiry date

A notice has been gazetted to postpone the expiry date of the Water Plan (Pioneer Valley) 2002 to 30 September 2025.

Postponing the expiry date will allow the department to complete technical assessments and undertake consultation to replace the water plan.

Pumped hydro in the Pioneer Valley water plan area

The Queensland Government is currently investigating the potential for a pumped hydro energy storage facility in the western Pioneer Valley, approximately 75 kilometres west of Mackay.

The Pioneer Valley 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 Pioneer water plan will consider all water users and the environment within the plan area (PDF, 1.1MB) to develop strategies to share and manage the available water sustainably.

While reviewing the Pioneer Valley water plan, the department will be working closely with Queensland Hydro as further studies are conducted to better understand the water needs, impacts and benefits of the proposed pumped hydro energy storage facility.

Consultation with stakeholders

Early and ongoing engagement is a critical component in the review and development of the replacement water plan. We are engaging with people to help the community understand the water plan development process, discuss issues and opportunities, and ultimately improve the plan itself.

Engagement provides the opportunity to draw on people’s collective knowledge, and to build collaborative support and involvement in the water planning process. We believe that through active, genuine and cooperative engagement we will achieve a sustainable water plan for the Pioneer Valley.

How we are engaging and communicating

A targeted engagement strategy is being used by the department during development of the replacement water plan as it will:

  • enable more detailed, focused and efficient discussion of matters that were identified in the preliminary public consultation notice and submissions received on this notice with relevant stakeholder groups
  • provide a safe and constructive environment for collaborative stakeholder involvement.

A variety of engagement activities and communication tools are being used during the development of the replacement plan, for example:

  • individual meetings with stakeholder groups and communities
  • on-country meetings with First Nations groups
  • meetings during the draft water plan public consultation and submission phase
  • presentations at peak industry water engagement forums
  • website and social media communication
  • publication of technical and research reports.

Further information

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

Find out more about water management in the Pioneer Valley area.

Last updated: 28 Apr 2023