WATER ACT REFORM – WATER BILL EXPOSURE DRAFT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Water Bill Exposure Draft. Water is a critical input into mineral exploration and development operations. Secure and cost effective access to water through efficient water markets and industry water stewardship is a key plank of the minerals industry advocacy.

The minerals industry’s water policies and uptake of advanced measuring and monitoring systems demonstrates a commitment to leadership in responsible water use.

This submission identifies areas where clarification or amendments are sought, the type of guidance required by the minerals industry and discusses where further reforms can be made to ensure a robust but flexible licencing system that better reflects water use.

The MCA has engaged with a range of departments and agencies over the past decade to ensure that the State’s water policies and regulations are cognisant of the unique circumstances of the minerals industry. Therefore it is disappointing that the MCA was not one of the groups consulted on key issues or provided an opportunity to provide feedback as proposals were developed.

INTRODUCTION

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, nationally and internationally, in its contribution to sustainable development and society. MCA member companies produce more than 85 per cent of Australia’s annual mineral output.

The MCA’s strategic objective is to advocate public policy and operational practice for a world-class industry that is safe, profitable, innovative, environmentally responsible and attuned to community needs and expectations.

The Victorian Division of the MCA represents the interests of member companies operating, exploring and providing services to the industry in Victoria. Policy positions of the Victorian industry are one and the same as the entire Australian minerals industry. The MCA operates on a platform of national consistency and therefore considers that minerals operations in all jurisdictions should be subject to the same polices and legislative frameworks across the country.

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