The main function of a water authority is to carry out the 'water activities' on which it decides. In prescribed circumstances, a water authority may conduct such activities outside its authority area.
Water authorities are classified as category 1 or category 2:
Category 1 water authorities
Currently the only category 1 water authorities in Queensland are the Gladstone Area Water Board and the Mount Isa Water Board, which began operations as category 1 commercialised water authorities on 1 October 2000. To ensure they comply with their statutory responsibilities, these authorities are overseen by the Department of Energy and Water Supply.
Gladstone Area Water Board
The Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) provides both treated and untreated water for domestic and industrial purposes (e.g. the Gladstone Regional Council and large industrial operations such as the Callide Power Station near Biloela). It also manages recreational facilities such as the Lake Awoonga Recreation Area.
The GAWB comprises:
- four members nominated by the Gladstone Regional Council
- three members nominated by the chief executive, one of whom must be the chairperson of the board.
For more information, visit the GAWB website.
Mount Isa Water Board
The Mount Isa Water Board (MIWB) supplies water in bulk to Mount Isa City Council and industrial consumers including Xstrata MIM. The board, which is also Trustee for a water and recreation reserve, comprises:
- two members nominated by the Mount Isa City Council
- two members nominated by Xstrata MIM
- one member nominated by the chief executive.
For more information, visit the MIWB website.
Department of Energy and Water Supply
Telephone: 07 3166 0145
Facsimile: 07 3033 0995
Category 2 water authorities
All former water areas and water boards in existence when the Water Act 2000 commenced, continue under the Act as authority areas and water authorities, respectively.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) is responsible for the administration and oversight of fifty-one category 2 water authorities, established under Chapter 4 of the Water Act 2000.
To assist category 2 water authorities comply with their statutory duties, the Department:
- provides information about accountability requirements
- ensures best practice in corporate governance
- encourages community involvement in making and implementing arrangements for using, conserving and sustainably managing water.
Functions undertaken by the Department in relation to category 2 water authorities include:
- performing the statutory functions of the chief executive as detailed in Chapter 4 of the Water Act 2000
- managing the statutory appointment of directors
- expediting the tabling of the summary of annual reports and financial statements of category 2 water authorities
- advising about statutory processes, roles, responsibilities and government policy relevant to statutory bodies
- managing the annual capital works borrowing program
- developing, preparing and implementing legislative and non-legislative government policy
- preparing guidelines, procedures and approved forms.
Public interest disclosures
On 1 January 2011, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (PID Act) replaced the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994 (WP Act). The PID Act provides reforms and reinforcement of existing provisions for the effective management of public interest disclosures (PIDs).
Section 28 of the PID Act requires water authorities, as public sector entities to establish and publish procedures to deal with PIDs.
To facilitate water authorities’ compliance with this and other provisions of the PID Act, DNRM has developed a procedure by which water authorities may manage any PIDs made to them. DNRM has compiled these procedures in a document titled, Procedure for Managing Public Interest Disclosures (PDF, 136K)* (PMPID). Water authorities are able to both formally adopt the procedures in this document as their own, and cite the DNRM web address of the document in their annual reports when referring to their responsibilities under the PID Act.
Importantly for both water authorities themselves and any member of the public seeking to make a PID to a water authority, the document highlights:
- what constitutes a PID
- to whom a PID may be made
- how a PID may be addressed
- the responsibilities of the chairperson of the water authority, should a PID be made to the entity.
Responsibilities of water authority chairpersons, which may be carried out in consultation with DNRM, include:
- ensuring all relevant persons are aware of the water authority's procedures for managing PIDs and where to access them
- assessing any PID made to the entity, and then investigating or delegating the investigation to DNRM or the Crime and Misconduct Commission
- assessing and implementing any actions following the outcome of a PID investigation
- reporting any PIDs to the Public Service Commission
- coordinating support and protection for disclosers, and support for subject officers.
A PID may be made to any of the following:
- the chairperson of the water authority
- the manager of the Ethics Unit with the DNRM
- the Crime and Misconduct Commission
- a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Further information regarding PIDs generally, is available at the website of the Public Service Commission.
Proposed amendment to the Glamorgan Vale Water Board's authority area
Notice of the proposed amendment to the Glamorgan Vale Water Board's authority area will be published in the Queensland Government Gazette on 18 January 2013, and in the Gatton Times on 23 January 2013.
A copy of the proposed amended authority area plan is available for purchase from and/or may be inspected at Level 8, Mineral House, 41 George Street, Brisbane.
The Proposed Glamorgan Vale Water Supply Area Plan (PDF, 1.2M)* is also available for download.
For general information about water authorities (including membership, contact details and locations) see:
- details of water authorities
- summary of annual reports of Queensland's Category 2 water authorities
- register of statutory bodies maintained by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet
- location map (PDF, 221K)*.
Water authorities are also registered service providers and have statutory obligations imposed on them under Chapter 2 of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.
Principal Project Officer, Water Entity Governance
Telephone: (07) 3330 6089
* Requires Adobe Reader
Last updated 29 January 2013