BRISBANE REGION ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL

MEMO

October 23, 1998

------>>>ATTENTION BRMG<<<------

SOME COMMENTS ON THE LONG TERM MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR WATERWAYS IN BRISBANE RIVER CATCHMENT


Summary

The reduction of management options for the waterways of the Brisbane River catchment to just one approach is ridiculous. We will have a distributed approach. We need an SPP and a declaration of State Interest in the interim. We also need to include management objectives into Schedule 1 of the Water EPP. We need to progress the preparation and finalisation of environmental plans under the Water EPP. We need Desired Environmental Outcomes drafted and accepted for planning schemes. We need local planning policies drafted and implemented. We need Catchment Management plans developed to help guide policies and planning schemes. We need to establish the social capital in the form of NGOs and joint committees to coordinate, review and implement the plans.


Waterways Coordination Committees

Given the unresolvable distribution of legislative responsibilities we need these committees to coordinate on waterways issues.

Committee

Membership

Tasks

SEQ Regional Coordination Committee

Ministers SEQROC Reps (federal rep), NGO Rep

Legislation and Policies, Integrated Regional Plans, Coordination and Integration with other programs and reviews

SEQ Waterways Policy Council

Ministers, SEQROC reps and SEQ4C Rep

Policies and Legislation

Coordination and reviews

SEQ Waterway Program Committee

CEO's, SEQROC reps and SEQ4C Rep

Program Implementation and review, Policy and Legislation Advice.

SEQROC Catchment Committee

LGA's, Dept and SEQ4C reps

Local Laws, Local policies, Regional matters, Program Coordination, Implementation and Review

SEQ Community Catchment Coordinating Committee(SEQ4C)

NGO (Catchment Committees and Sectoral groups)

Coordination of Non Government Advice to SEQ waterways program. Coordination, implementation and review of Non government programs

 

Non Statutory Measures

A public sector entity or statutory authority can lease land for its use as ecological infrastructure for ecological processes, water production, water quality and habitat protection. The lease can specify desired environmental outcomes of the management system used on the land. This land could be owned by any other public sector entity or statutory authority or any natural person or incorporated body.

Statutory Measures

Integrated Planning Act

• State Interest opinion of Minister DCILGP applies to planning schemes and can trigger Infrastructure Agreements

• Regional Matter opinion of Minister DCILGP applies to planning schemes

• State Planning Policy applies to Planning Schemes under the Integrated Planning Act NB Mining, Forestry, Transport Infrastructure, Ports Airports are "Exempt Development". Designation of land for community infrastructure are "Exempt Development" under the IPA.

Meaning of "State planning policy"

2.4.1.(1) A "State planning policy" is an instrument, made by the Minister under this part, about matters of State interest.

(2) A State planning policy is a statutory instrument under the Statutory Instruments Act 1992 and has the force of law.

Matters to be considered when designating land

2.6.2. Land may be designated for community infrastructure only if the designator is satisfied the community infrastructure will—

(a) facilitate the implementation of legislation and policies about environmental protection or ecological sustainability; or

While the SPP binds the State it can never be triggered on the developments listed in Integrated Planning Act 1997 Schedule 8 Part 3 items 10-21 or on Strategic Port Land as defined in the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 This list includes Mining, Forestry, Transport Infrastructure, Ports Airports are "Exempt Development". Designation of land for community infrastructure is "Exempt Development" under the IPA. Given that this list contains activities that have substantial impacts on waterways the SPP will be unable to manage or coordinate those impacts. An SPP may also be repealed by the Minister placing an advertisement to that effect and notifying local governments

Designations have to take into account "legislation and policies about environmental protection or ecological sustainability". This may mean it applies to IPA excluding IDAS ? Is state planning policy a "policy about environmental protection"? This section could also refer to the Environmental Protection Act.

Environmental Protection Act

• Schedule 1 (ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES AND WATER QUALITY OBJECTIVES FOR WATERS) EPP(Water) used in "environmental management decisions" about Environmentally Relevant and other activities.

• The EP Act has to be considered in addition to other Acts by State Departments.

• Environmental Plans EPP(Water) must be done by Local Government Authorities and Department of Natural Resources.

The EP Act binds the crown and includes most of the above list. It causes administering authorities of other acts to consider it in addition to their Act.

The Water EPP therefore has broader scope to manage and coordinate the impacts of those activities.

A condition referring to Water Quality Objectives under Schedule 1(ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES AND WATER QUALITY OBJECTIVES FOR WATERS) of the Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 1997. should be inserted into all relevant Environmental Authorities and Licences. The Water Quality objectives can be drawn from The Act, ANZECC guidelines, the WMP and the WQS.

Environmental Value to be protected for all waters

"biological integrity", of a water, means the water’s ability to support and maintain a balanced, integrative, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity and functional organisation comparable to that of the natural habitat of the locality in which the water is situated.

This requirement to address Schedule 1 applies to the administering authority for the following decisions:

"environmental management decision" means a decision by an administering authority about an environmental authority, environmental management program or environmental protection order for an environmentally relevant activity or other activity.

This definition picks up both ERA's and Non ERA's ie activities in general and activities under other Acts. This includes decisions about Waste water recycling, Waste water releases on land, Waste water releases to surface water, Stormwater management, Direct waste water release to ground waters, Incidental waste water release to ground waters, Construction of artificial wetlands for waste water treatment , Use of natural biological controls in treatment of waste water , Acid sulphate soils and Waste reception facilities for ships

Furthermore there are Environmental Plans under EPP Water, these bind both LGA's and the DNR. These LGA Plans cover sewage, stormwater, water conservation and trade waste. The DNR must produce plans for Environmental water provisions and Protection of ground waters

Other Statutory Measures

On the Spot Fines, Codes of Practice, Third Party Notifications and appeals

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Nature Conservation Act

Areas of Interest

Listed Species of Wildlife

State Works etc Act, Water Resources Act, Transport Infrastructure Act, Mineral Resources Act, Fisheries Act and their subordinate legislation and regulations.

ENDS