The Queensland Government has announced a new Water Management Plan for the Upper Condamine Alluvium area, aimed at benefitting groundwater users in the Upper Condamine Alluvium area of the Darling Downs.


State Minister for Natural Resources, Andrew Cripps, said the plan will not change current management arrangements in the Upper Condamine, but was needed to ensure that groundwater users in the area were eligible for buyback provisions under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.


“This plan formalises the existing arrangements put in place by the State Government for managing the area’s groundwater,” Mr Cripps said. 


“Such arrangements include the use of water licences, water sharing rules and the moratoriums that regulate access to groundwater in the area.” 


Mr Cripps said the Commonwealth Government’s draft Murray Darling Basin Plan had identified groundwater in the Upper Condamine is over-allocated and that it was prepared to buy back a proportion of existing water licences from willing sellers. 


“However, the Federal Government will only apply the buyback program if the State Government demonstrates it has a plan to ensure future groundwater use will not expand in a way that undermines the Commonwealth’s water recovery efforts,” he said.

“The new plan meets this Commonwealth requirement and Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) staff have ensured water users were consulted about the plan and its benefits.”