During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Wednesday 28 July 2021, I asked about water resources and specifically about Adani's water licenses. After waiting until the very end of the session to give me a question, they pretty much dodged my questions entirely.
You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).
Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the director-general in relation to the department’s water resource management services as set out in the SDS at pages 2 and 4, and I note that associated water is a matter regulated by the department of environment, so leave that aside in answering the question. Broadly speaking, can a large take of water—say, a gigalitre or more—be commercial in confidence or would any take like this require a licence or other authorisation under the Water Act that would ordinarily be included in a public register?
CHAIR: Did you want to be specific instead of the hypothetical? Member for Maiwar, I think I know where you are going with this.
Mr BERKMAN: It is a simple question. Can a large take of water be commercial in confidence or would it require a licence or authorisation that is included on a public register? It is a pretty straightforward question.
CHAIR: I think it is, but you need to be specific. It is a hypothetical unless you name it.
Mr BERKMAN: I am sorry?
CHAIR: It is hypothetical. You have to be specific.
Mr BERKMAN: It is a very direct question. Can you take water in Queensland in large volumes without a licence or authorisation that would be included on a public register?
CHAIR: Member for Maiwar, as you know with standing orders, you are asking for an opinion and it could be classed as a hypothetical, but I think the DG is going to give a brief answer on that as he may desire.
Mr Glover: Thank you for the question, member. Private water trading agreements can be established between water users. In Queensland, water trading is available where water allocations have been established under a water plan. Rules for water sharing and trading of allocations are set out in the water management protocols associated with the water plan of each area.
Mr BERKMAN: Thank you. A quick follow-up, if I might: in light of that answer, can you please provide details of all water licences held by Adani—or Bravus as it now calls itself—and details of any sources of water that Adani is authorised to access in Queensland?
CHAIR: That is a big question as well. It is a massive one. I wish you had started with this one. We could have got straight to the point.
Mr BERKMAN: I am happy for it to be taken on notice.
CHAIR: Do you want to make a comment on this? It is a fairly large request. How it relates to the budget I am not sure.
Mr BERKMAN: Chair, water resource management is a function of the department.
CHAIR: I do not need your input on that, member. Director-General, do you want to give a partial response to that?
Mr Glover: The department has no further information to provide on Bravus Mining & Resources’ intentions for sourcing water for their Carmichael Mine project.