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Got Gaps?

Apr 23 2015

Got gaps?

 

Recent investigations show that there are significant gaps between existing approvals and actual on-ground constructions. The reasons for these variations include long outstanding applications still held by the department, organic minor variations to existing operations, legal oversights and in some cases, intentionally unapproved development.

 

If you have approval gaps, you should address these prior to the implementation of the new FMP.  If you wait until the FMP is in place, you will need to apply under the new stringent rules and/or be made to remove or modify the infrastructure.

 

In several instances, MZA areas have been nominated as designated flood ways even though existing works have been in place at the location for many years.  Land in these conflict areas could be removed from production, or at the very least have its production capacity significantly diminished by removal of its flood protection or other works and structures.

What Should Irrigators Do Now?

  1. As a matter of urgency, you should check all of your existing approvals and applications and ensure that constructed infrastructure on your farm complies with this documentation.

     

  2. Where you find any inconsistency, take remedial action prior to the implementation of the new FMP. This action may include submitting new or modified applications to address the gaps. Otherwise you must be prepared to deal with the complex provisions of the new valley-wide FMPs to remedy your compliance issues.

     

  3. Take the time to review the proposed draft valley-wide FMPs and make sure that the designated Management Zones are not in conflict with your existing irrigation infrastructure and operations. If you have a problem you must make representations to the NSW Office of Water prior to the implementation of the plan.

     

  4. Ensure that your investigation process is detailed, technically correct and thorough, and includes all existing survey detail for existing and future activities. Seek specialist advice to confirm the status of your documentation.

     

  5. If you have future development or expansion plans for your irrigation enterprise it is strongly advised that applications for the various approvals be lodged as soon as possible. New proposals will be considerably more expensive to prepare under the new provisions due to the high level technical information that will be required to support applications. It is also anticipated that the development conditions within the new FMPs will become a substantial barrier to new developments.

Need More Information?

You can get more information about valley-wide FMPs, various types of water licences, fees and application forms from NSW Office of Water’s website: www.water.nsw.gov.au

Western Land Planning has fact sheets on a range of related issues and services, available from www.wlp.com.au

  Our information sheet 

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