The Queensland Government has released a draft plan that it says will establish a ‘robust water allocation and management framework’ for the Wet Tropics region.

State Minister for Natural Resources, Andrew Cripps, said the plan would deliver a balanced approach to delivering on agricultural, environmental, Indigenous and community water needs.

“The draft plan allows for the continued use of all existing entitlements and authorised works to take surface water and groundwater,” Mr Cripps said.

“The draft plan defines water allocation security objectives and clearly specifies entitlements and environmental flow objectives.

“It also provides for the protection of water dependant ecosystems and improved monitoring strategies to establish how effectively the plan’s outcomes are being achieved.”

Mr Cripps said the draft plan allowed for water trading opportunities in priority areas in the Mulgrave-Russell, Johnstone, Tully and Herbert catchments.

“Under the draft plan reserves of unallocated water would be established to provide for future growth and development in all sectors of the plan area,” he said.

“Groundwater resources in the Mossman and Cairns Coast declared sub-artesian areas would continue to be managed, and six new groundwater management areas would be created in the Mulgrave, Johnstone, Tully and Herbert catchments.

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is now seeking public comment on the plan that can be found here

Submissions can also be faxed to (07) 4092 2366, made through the DNRM website or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public information sessions will be held at the following venues:

Ingham – Tyto Centre, McIwraith Street, Tuesday 9 April 2013, 6.30pm to 8.30pm;

Tully – Tully Sugar Hall, Mill Reserve, Wednesday 10 April 2013, 6.30pm to 8.30pm;

Innisfail – Senior Citizen Hall, Corner of Lily Street and Owens Street, Thursday 11 April 2013, 6.30pm to 8.30pm;

Ravenshoe – Ravenshoe Town Hall Grigg Street, Tuesday 16 April 2013, 6.30pm to 8.30pm;

Malanda – Malanda Lodge, Millaa Millaa Road, Wednesday 17 April 2013, 10.00am to 12.00pm;

Gordonvale – Gordonvale Community Hub, 17/19 Cannon Street, Thursday 18 April 2013, 10.00am to 12.00pm;

Mossman –  Mossman Bowls Club, 6-8 Johnstone Road, Friday 19 April 2013, 10.00am to 12.00pm.