THE Queensland Government is seeking community views on a proposal to extend the life of the current water resource plan covering the Mary Basin of south-east Queensland.
The current Water Resource (Mary Basin) Plan 2006 is scheduled to expire on to September 1 this year.
A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman said DNRM believed it was necessary to postpone the expiry of the plan by five years until September 1, 2021 to allow sufficient time for the development of a new science-based water resource plan.
The spokesman said the Mary Basin was a rich and diverse area of south-east Queensland that covered urban and rural areas stretching from Caloundra and Jimna northwards through Nambour, Kilkivan, Gympie, Maryborough and Hervey Bay to Burrum Heads.
"More work needs to be done to fully consider future demand for water in the Mary Basin and to secure existing water allocations; and to apply the best available science to protecting environmental flows and the ecological assets of the Mary Basin," he said.
"There is a need to undertake further detailed hydrologic, ecological, social and economic assessments plus community consultation to address the full scope of issues that may emerge.
"Postponing the expiry of the existing plan will allow time to properly consider and assess options, to address issues and to ensure that the best available science and knowledge can be incorporated into the new water resource plan.
"It is important that communities and stakeholders in the Mary Basin have their say about the proposal to postpone the expiry date of the current water resource plan."
Interested parties are encouraged to lodge written submissions on the proposal with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines so their views can be considered.
The period for submissions will close at 5pm on Thursday, March 31.
Written submissions can be lodged by post, email, fax and online to:
Attn: Mary WRP Co-ordinator,
Department of Natural Resources and Mines,
Locked Mail Bag 383, Gympie 4570.
Alternatively, they can be dropped in to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines27 O'Connell St, Gympie 4570, faxed to 5480 5302 or emailed to wrpMary@dnrm.qld.gov.au
n More information for stakeholders is available by telephoning 5480 5316 or by viewing the proposal on the department's website at: http://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au.