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Landscape South Australia (Water Management) Regulations 2020 Consultation Summary

 

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This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 2 April to 27 April 2020. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the engagement.

 

Download a PDF of the Landscape South Australia (Water Management) Regulations 2020 Consultation Summary

Section

Title

Summary

Part 1 Preliminary

1

Short title

These regulations may be cited as Landscape South Australia (Water Management) Regulations 2020

2

Commencement

Provides the intended date of commencement of the regulations to be 1 July 2020

3

Interpretation

This regulation defines terms for the purposes of the regulations. A new definition of validate has been made for the purposes of regulations 10, 11 and 13 to clarify meter validation may be required in certain circumstances in accordance with specifications of the Minister

Part 2 Legislative Definitions

4

Definition of Mount Lofty Ranges Watershed

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 6 of the Natural Resources Management (NRM) (General) Regulations 2005. This provides the General Registry Plan reference which defines the Mount Lofty Ranges Watershed for the purposes of water affecting activity provisions of the Act

Part 3 Water allocation plans

5

Consultation associated with proposed amendment

To ensure procedural fairness, this regulation prescribes a process for notice to be given to water licence holders of a proposal to reduce water rights or change a consumptive pool in a water allocation plan. Notice must be provided in writing, provide information about the effect of the change and how submissions can be made with a minimum two month period required in which submissions may be made

Part 4 Levies in respect to water

6

Recovery costs

This regulation is in similar terms to regulation 4I of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 with only terminology changes that are consequential to changes in the Act. This provides for the Minister to determine a reasonable charge that may be imposed on account of water levy debt recovery action

7

Refund of levies (section 87 of Act)

This regulation is in similar terms to regulation 3 of the NRM (General) Regulation 2005 and regulation 8A of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005. Flexibility has been provided for any regional landscape board to endorse water levy refunds where a water access entitlement or water allocation will become an accredited environmental donations entitlement, to be used for environmental purposes. Currently only the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board can accredit such arrangements for the purposes of providing refunds

8

Recovery of penalty under section 88(6) of Act

This regulation expands on regulation 9 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 which prescribes sections of the Act relating to the collection of levies that apply for the purposes of collecting administrative penalties such as for taking water in excess of a water allocation. This clarifies that a penalty may be recovered under a Notice of Liability, the date when a penalty is payable, that co-holders will be jointly liable for payment of penalties and that a water management authorisation may be cancelled for non-payment of a penalty after following certain procedures

Part 5 Meters

9

Supply and installation of meters

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 11 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 and allows for the Minister to require the supply or installation of meters in order to determine the quantity of water taken

10

Meters owned by Minster

This regulation is in similar terms as regulation 12 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005. This allows for the Minister to charge rent and enter land to inspect, service and undertake other actions in relation to meters owned by the Minister. Meter validation has been added as an action the Minister can take in order to confirm whether a meter and its installation comply with specifications of the Minister

11

Meters owned by other persons

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 13 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 and provides for the Minister to enter land to inspect a meter or make directions in relation to meters owned by a person other than the Minister. Meter validation has been added as an action the Minister can direct in order to confirm whether a meter and its installation comply with specifications of the Minister

12

Provisions applying to meters generally

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 14 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 with only terminology or minor changes that are consequential to changes in the Act. This sets out general requirements that apply to persons where a meter is used to measure a quantity of water taken or used

13

Requirements as to installation, repair, testing etc of meters

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 15 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005.  This sets out general requirements that apply to the installation, repair, and testing of meters

14

Testing requirements

This regulation is in similar terms as regulation 16 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 and sets out requirements for meter testing where required for the purposes of determining water levy payments. Some timeframes and processes for testing have been updated to align with more regularly updated specifications of the Minister for Environment and Water (in the South Australia’s Licensed Water Use Meter Specification meter specification)

15

Minister’s specifications

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 16A of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 and sets out broad provisions for how the Minister may make specifications relating to meters

16

Compliance with Part

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 17 of the NRM (Financial Provisions) Regulations 2005 and provides compliance arrangements that apply if a person fails to comply with a direction of the Minister. The penalty and expiation fee has increased by CPI, in line with the approach adopted in the Act

Part 6 General management, administration and protection provisions

17

Rate at which drinking water may be taken

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 12 of the NRM (General) Regulations and provides that 100 litres per day is that amount of water that may be taken for drinking and cooking purposes without a need to be authorised to take water under the Act

18

Activities subject to the operation of a plan or policy

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 14 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 with consequential updates only. This provides that using imported water in the course of carrying on a business in a landscape region at a rate that exceeds the rate prescribed by the relevant water allocation plan or policy is a water affecting activity

19

Water affecting activities (section 104(5) and (6) of Act)

This regulation expands on exemptions provided under regulation 14A of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 to provide flexibility for simpler (partially unbundled) licensing arrangements. This allows for water allocation planning to provide exemptions from the requirement to hold certain (unbundled) approvals.

If exempted from holding separate approvals, a licensee would be granted a separate water access entitlement and water allocation. Authorisations and conditions relating to the operation of works to take water or the use of water at a particular site could remain on a water licence

20

Expiation fees (section 104(7) of Act)

Currently an expiation fee can only be issued for a breach of conditions of a water licence, while court imposed penalties can be imposed for breaches of conditions of any water management authorisation (including a water licence) or a permit. A change has been made to this regulation to provide for an expiation fee to apply for breaches of conditions of any water management authorisation or permit, to provide flexibility for appropriate compliance measures to be taken

21

Prescribed date (section 111(1) of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 16 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005. This prescribes the date 2 July 1997. A dam, embankment or other object in a watercourse lawfully constructed before this date may be directed by the Minister to be modified or removed. Compensation is payable if removal is required

22

Notice to be given by relevant authority (section 113, 137, and 144 of Act)

This regulation is in similar terms as regulation 17 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides the manner in which notice must be given in order for third party representations to be made in relation to applications for permits and approvals if permitted by a water allocation plan or policy. Requirements for notice to be printed in a newspaper have been replaced with more flexible public notification requirements

23

Requirements as to representations under section 113, 137 or 144 of Act

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 18 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and sets out the manner in which third party representations must be made in relation to applications for permits and approvals should a person wish to do so

24

Time for response by applicant

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 19 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that 10 business days is the period within which an applicant may respond to third party representations unless the period is increased by the relevant authority or Minister

25

Well drillers’ licence – prescribed conditions

This regulation is in similar terms to regulation 20 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 with only terminology changes that are consequential to changes in the Act. This provides for conditions applicable to well drillers' licences. Minor changes reflect that a licensee should comply with a permit or water resource works approval as either instrument may authorise well construction activities

26

Cancellation of water resource works approval – prescribed scheme (section 138 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 20AAA of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that the Minister may cancel a water resource works approval in certain circumstances

27

Cancellation of site use approval – prescribed scheme (section 145 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 20AA of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that the Minister may cancel a site use approval in certain circumstances

Part 7 Specific provision relating to consumptive pools, water access entitlements and allocations

28

Transfers between consumptive pools

This new regulation enables a water allocation plan to permit transfers between consumptive pools within a prescribed water resource or water resources managed under a water allocation plan.

 

This aims to promote flexibility and trade opportunities being facilitated under water allocation plans, and avoid red tape and the imposition of barriers to trade in the transition of currently bundled to unbundled water allocation plans where current trade opportunities may be disallowed

29

Classification of water access entitlements

This new regulation clarifies that water access entitlements may be classified according to characteristics specified in a water allocation plan such as the priority or reliability of allocations, purpose for which water can be used, tradeability or entitlement to carryover.

 

This will provide transparency and investment certainty to water users as to the characteristics of their water rights

30

Variation of water licences – policies and principles specified by water allocation plan

This new regulation allows a water allocation plan to provide for the conversion or reclassification of water licences to relate to a different prescribed water resource or apply characteristics of a new consumptive pool where a water access entitlement is transferred from another consumptive pool. This relates to regulation 28.

31

Water allocation plans – priorities for allocation and management zones

This new regulation clarifies that a water allocation plan may provide for available water to be allocated to water users in accordance with a water allocation framework specified in the plan.

 

This regulation also enables a water allocation plan to provide different arrangements for the allocation or management of water in management zones within a water resource, for example, in parts of an underground or surface water resource that are stressed or face particular natural resources management issues.

 

Where reflected in a water allocation plan based on stakeholder consultation, these arrangements are intended to facilitate maximum transparency and investment certainty to water users as to how much water will be made available under different water availability scenarios

32

Tagged interstate water trades

This regulation is in similar terms to regulation 42A of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005. Red tape will be reduced with a once-off fee required to set up an interstate tagged trade arrangement in relation to water allocation, which will remain in place until removed. The current regulation only provides for this arrangement to apply within the same financial year

33

Joint applications to vary water take or use limits on water licence or approval

This new regulation will facilitate opportunities for water users to apply to make joint applications to vary conditions or limits on the take or use of water under a water licence or approval if permitted subject to the assessment requirements of a water allocation plan.

 

These arrangements aim to promote business flexibility and development opportunities through enabling access to inactivated approval limits or for approved capacity to take or use water to move to higher valued uses

Part 8 Forest water licences

34

Interpretation – harvesting (section 164 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 20A of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that harvesting does not include certain activities for the purposes of commercial forestry provisions of the Act

35

Provision of notice to Minister (section 166 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 21 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that a notice relating to a land transfer or assignment of a forest property (vegetation) agreement is to be submitted in a manner determined by the Minister

36

Variations – allocations – prescribed period (section 168 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 21A of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides a period of 18 months for a water allocation attached to a forest water licence to be varied following when the forest is harvested.

37

Approval for transfer of allocations – prescribed circumstances (section 169 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 21B of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides the circumstances where an application for a transfer of a water allocation attached to a forest water licence must be refused. This regulation also provides that a forest manager may not deal with a water allocation if the allocation falls below the water required to offset the impact of the forest on the water resource as set out in the water allocation plan

38

Variation – conditions - prescribed period (section 171 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 21C of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides a period of 18 months for a condition of a forest water licence to be varied following when the forest is harvested

39

Surrender of licences – prescribed circumstances (section 173 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 21D of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that a forest water licence may be surrendered when the commercial forest has been permanently removed

40

Offences – prescribed rate (section 175 of Act)

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 21E of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005 and provides that the rate is $25 per kilolitre for the purposes of determining court imposed penalties for offences relating to commercial forestry provisions

Part 9 Miscellaneous

41

Prescribed period (section 184 of Act)

This regulation provides 3 months to be the prescribed period for applying the law in making decisions relating to applications

42

Availability of representations (section 113 of Act)

This regulation provides detail on how the relevant authority must make third party written representations made under the Act available for inspection. This replicates the effect of arrangements that apply under s138 of the NRM Act

43

Requirement to provide information to Minster

This regulation is equivalent to regulation 34 of the NRM (General) Regulations 2005. This provides that SA Water and others who provide reticulated water supply sewerage or drainage services must provide the Minister with information relating to infrastructure and water in storage facilities or sewerage or water drainage systems at the Minister's request

44

Amendment of water affecting activities control policies

This regulation provides for water affecting activities control policies to be amended without formal procedures in the same circumstances as the Act provides for amendment of regional and water allocation plans (e.g. to correct an error or change form but not substance of a policy)