The next 12-18 months will see the replacement of the Burdekin Basin Water Plan get into full swing, and the recent announcement of a Regional Water Assessment means that the mechanisms might just be in place to protect the mighty Burdekin from the threats of over-development.
Throughout the month of May, NQCC's Burdekin Basin Subcommittee was kept busy compiling a comprehensive submission to the process informing the replacement of the Burdekin Basin Water Plan (read the submission here). Just weeks later, Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek and Queensland Water Minister Glenn Butcher converged on Townsville to announce the Burdekin Regional Water Assessment.
Pictured: Qld Water Minister Glenn Butcher, Federal Environment & Water Minister Tanya Plibersek, Senator Nita Green and Qld Resources Minister Scott Stewart. Photo credit: Senator Nita Green via Facebook
John Connell attended the announcement, and was pleased to hear mention of concepts previously absent from conversations about the Burdekin, such as "water efficiency", "collaborative strategic planning" and "best available science".
For several years now, NQCC has campaigned for an integrated, catchment-wide approach to managing the Burdekin Basin sustainably. If the claims made by both levels of government are to be believed, this could spell out a big change from the approach we have seen in the past towards the over-development of this iconic river.
We will continue to engage with all relevant departments and agencies to ensure that the next Burdekin Basin Water Plan is robust and sustainable, reflecting the needs of communities and the environment for generations to come. If you would like to be involved in our Burdekin Basin Subcommittee, sign up on our volunteer page!