Assessing an application
The assessment process begins after the department validates an application.
Under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914, the department ensures the proposed take and use of water are:
- in the public interest
- ecologically sustainable
- environmentally acceptable
- not prejudicial to other current and future needs for water
- unlikely to have a detrimental effect on another person
- unable to be provided for by another source
- in keeping with:
- local practices
- relevant by-laws
- plan approved under Part III Division 3D Subdivision 2
- relevant previous decisions of the Minister
- consistent with
- land use planning instruments
- requirements and policies of other government agencies
- intergovernmental agreements or arrangements.
These matters are assessed in accordance with Schedule 1, Division 2, clause 7(2) of the Act.
Obligations under other legislation such as the Duties Act 2008 and the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 also are taken into account. Discharging our obligations under the Native Titles Act, where applicable, adds at least 30 days to the assessment time frame.
More complex applications or applications for a large volume of water may require further information or action. Applicants may be requested to:
- advertise the application publicly
- undertake a hydrogeological assessment
- develop an operating strategy
- develop a monitoring program.
The department will request this further information within a certain time frame. See Operational Policy 5.11 Timely submission of required further information.
Advertising is required in the following circumstances:
- Applications for a new groundwater licence for an annual entitlement of 100 000 kL or more
- Applications to amend a groundwater licence where the additional volume requested is more than 100 000 kL per year or where the new total volume exceeds 100 000 kL
- Where required under a water resource management plan
- Where the department believes the resource will be significantly impacted
- Where a dewatering licence is required and the net loss of water to the aquifer is greater than 100 000 kL.
Any submissions received are taken into account during the assessment process. These may include submissions from security interests or Native Title claimants, if applicable.
Licences are subject to terms, conditions and restrictions. See the appendix to Schedule 1 of the Rights In Water and Irrigation Act 1914.
Under the Act, an applicant may be refused a licence if:
- matters in the 7(2) assessment warrant refusal
- the applicant has been convicted of an offence against the Act
- the department is not satisfied that the applicant has the resources, including the financial resources, to carry out the activities to which the licence relates
- the department considers the applicant would not be willing or able to comply with the terms, conditions and restrictions that would be included in the licence.