Our role as a water regulator: compliance approach and principles

Queensland’s water resources are vital for our economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing and drive economic growth and job opportunities for our regional communities.

Our role is to ensure that water is managed fairly and responsibly and to make best use of our water resources by delivering sustainable, safe, secure and affordable water to all Queenslanders for today and tomorrow.

To achieve this, our department administers a range of laws that govern how water resources are accessed and used. This includes:

One of our most important functions is to ensure everyone complies with these laws. A healthy, economically sustainable water market relies on a resource. Our regulatory approach gives Queenslanders confidence that our resources are being managed fairly and responsibly.

We approach compliance by guiding, informing, enabling, monitoring and enforcing.

We try to engage early to help people comply with the legislation.

We aim to promote voluntary compliance through a range of educational activities aimed at building the capacity and capability of the community, including:

  • providing information, resources and tools to be clear about the obligations for our regulated water community
  • engaging to promote awareness and build their capacity through site visits, meetings, workshops and events
  • promoting and reinforcing good regulatory and business practices, including promoting the benefits of complying and the potential consequences of non-compliance.

Where compliance is not achieved, we take a risk-based approach to decide how best to respond, which includes taking enforcement action when needed.

The regulatory work we do is guided by the following principles:

  • consistent and fair: we have a consistent and fair approach to how we achieve compliance
  • outcomes and risk-based: we use a proactive, outcomes-focused, targeted, risk-based approach for our compliance activities
  • supportive: we encourage the community to do the right thing and empower staff to make decisions within our regulatory and governance framework
  • adaptive: we monitor our progress and adjust our actions as needed
  • accountable and transparent: we do what we say we are going to do, are transparent in our decision making and talk openly about priorities, activities and the results of our work
  • safe and well: we support safety and wellbeing of our staff and communities
  • responsive: we are timely in how we communicate about compliance and in responding to non-compliance

Watch – Our role as a water regulator

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Contact us

For more information please contact 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to find your closest DRDMW office.

Last updated: 05 Oct 2023