Water worry makes a splash
Regional Council wants local governments to have more control over allocation of water resources across their districts.
The council also wants the State Government to consider abandoning river improvement trusts or to give councils the trusts’ resources, because local governments are better placed to make decisions about local waterways.
The ideas will be raised at the Local Government Association Queensland conference.
Council planning and property portfolio spokesman councillor Neil Meiklejohn said it was vital that councils were involved in catchment planning for surface and underground water management.
Cr Meiklejohn said the council had to lobby the State Government to let it have a say in the consultation process for regional operation plans relating to the Border Rivers and Moonee catchments.
“Council found it quite difficult to get engagement in the review despite being one of the bigger stakeholders,” he said.
“We were almost forgotten in the process and we don’t think that’s good enough.
“We’re basically saying that when the State Government formalises catchment planning for surface and underground water management, that local government should be formally at the table for those processes.”
Meanwhile, the council wants the government to reassess the value of river trusts across the state.
Each trust is generally run by small boards who are legally required to prepare strategic plans but many trusts had not revised their plans in 10 years.
The council wants the State Government to compel the trusts to undertake strategic plans that can be resourced by local governments over the long term or assign their “functions and responsibilities” to a state agency.
“We are saying are the trusts still relevant?” Cr Meiklejohn said.
The State Government refused to address the concerns raised by the council on this issue.
MORE CONTROL: Council is asking for more involvement in local water resourcing.