As of 13 November, 2018, new fees for water license and permit applications were introduced to the Western Australian (WA) mining and public water sectors, following the publication of an amendment to the Rights in Water and Irrigation Regulations in the WA Government Gazette in late October.
The new fee structure is based on an assessment determined by the type of water license application, and is set out on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER) website.
The change comes after the DWER released a discussion paper in August 2018 on the implementation of a cost recovery approach for the assessment of applications. The DWER sought feedback from the industry, hosting a number of state-wide consultation workshops on potentially broadening water licensing cost recovery beyond the public water supply and mining sectors.
While a disallowance motion challenging the regulations was debated in the Legislative Council on 14 March, 2019 the motion was narrowly defeated by one vote.
The DWER has since provided advice to the WA Government, which is currently under consideration.