Benefits to flow from water investment

Jo Palmer,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Our freshwater resource is arguably our most precious asset, as it underpins the Tasmanian economy, environment, and way of life.

That is why the Rockliff Liberal Government is committed to a balanced and informed approach to sustainable management of our water resources both now and into the future.

Our Government is investing up to an additional $360,000 per annum in a new revenue retention model that will be used to improve the sustainable management of our freshwater resources.

The retention model will see the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania re-invest up to 80 per cent of the fees it receives from water managers under the Water Management Act, meaning water users are making a direct financial contribution towards the sustainable management of our State’s waterways.

The additional funding will be used to implement priority actions identified in the Rural Water Use Strategy (RWUS) including:

  • Additional resources to commence the review of Tasmania’s water allocation policy framework, including the Surface Water Allocation Decision Framework;
  • Upgrading Tasmania’s water monitoring infrastructure, such as stream gauging stations and continuous water quality monitoring equipment; and
  • Activities that will assist in supporting the Water Managers and Data Custodians Working Group to develop the collaborative state-wide water quality monitoring program.

And the Department will continue to identify key projects on an annual basis that support the implementation of the RWUS.

This investment is in addition to the more than $1.8 million in joint Tasmanian and Australian Government investment announced last month to deliver three freshwater science projects as part of the Rural Water Use Strategy.

Some of our other recent achievements in this space include:

  • Investing $5 million over the past two years in the River Health Action Plan to improve water quality by keeping livestock out of waterways and better managing effluent within the Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers catchment;
  • Investing $1.5 million to deliver initiatives from the Rural Water Use Strategy and establish the River Health Advisory Project; and
  • Securing $26.5 million in funding from the Australian Government for water infrastructure projects that will deliver improved environmental outcomes for our waterways and make highly reliable recycled water available for irrigation.

I am proud to be part of a Government that is improving the sustainable management of our State’s waterways.

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