WAFarmers has made a submission to the Securing Western Australia’s water future position paper – reforming water resource management.
WAFarmers has welcomed the proposed changes to ensure that water, as a resource, will be available for primary producers; that the community is engaged in and understands the process used for water allocation and monitoring; and that there will be greater engagement with water users.
WAFarmers welcomes the announcement that there will be an increase in the duration of the lifespan of a water licence, from the current maximum of 10 years to 40 years. WAFarmers also supports perpetual water entitlements under consumptive pool arrangements but recognises the challenges and large Department of Water resources required in delivering that model.
WAFarmers wishes to see the current exemption from licensing for water used for stock and domestic needs. This exemption must remain for the non-intensive cattle and sheep enterprises and the definition of “commercial” more defined.
WAFarmers would like to see farm business owners with current short term licences have the ability to convert them to the 40 year term at any stage instead of waiting for expiry. The licence renewal process regardless of term must also be simple and provide certainty to the water using farm business.