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Katherine Water Advisory Committee: Terms of reference

Purpose of the committee

The Katherine Water Advisory Committee has been formed by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources (the Minister) to improve the effective implementation of the plan over its remaining lifetime.

The committee will discuss matters such as:

  • new research
  • water resource investigations
  • monitoring programs
  • water trading and 'use it or lose it' policies as well as general licence holder compliance issues.

In addition, the committee will provide a point of contact and exchange for stakeholder concerns and interests in the sustainable use and conservation of the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine.

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Statutory effect

Section 23 of the Water Act 1992 authorises the Minister to establish, and appoint the members of, a Water Advisory Committee

Terms of reference

The committee will:

  • bring a diversity of skills, perspectives and opinions to bear on water management in the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine, and in the Katherine River catchment more broadly as is relevant to management of the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine
  • actively and openly participate in the development of the implementation strategy for the water allocation plan for the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine
  • actively and openly participate in the development of a new water allocation plan for the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine that will replace the current declared plan when it expires in 2019
  • identify, discuss and make recommendations to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (the department) on matters regarding the assessment, management and use of water from the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine
  • share information about the water allocation planning process and plan implementation with the community and seek their values and interests, ensuring these are communicated back to the department
  • participate in the delivery of water management strategies for the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine that are consistent with the requirements of the Water Act 1992 and, as far as practicable, the National Water Initiative
  • consider any other matters referred to it by the Minister or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The role of the committee is to identify issues, critically evaluate information and to offer suggestions for implementation of the Plan that support the potential beneficial uses and maximise opportunities for ecological sustainable development in the region

Composition of the committee

Members of the committee and chairperson are to be appointed by the Minister from nominations received during the expressions of interest process. In addition to the chairperson, the committee will have a minimum of ten members appointed by the Minister.

The members selected by the Minister will ensure that a diversity of representation is achieved and that all beneficial uses are represented as far as is practicable.

Beneficial uses include:

  • Agriculture
  • Aquaculture
  • Public Water Supply
  • Environment
  • Cultural
  • Industry
  • Rural Stock and
  • Domestic.

Nomination and appointment process

Nominations for the Katherine Water Advisory Committee will be sought through advertisements in the NT News, the Katherine Times and the NT Rural Weekly.

Key stakeholders and organisations may also be invited to nominate a representative. Nominations will be by expression of interest.

Expressions of interest will demonstrate the contribution that the nominee can make to the committee, including but not limited to:

  • their interest in the implementation of the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine Water Allocation Plan and commitment to the sustainable growth of the Territory economy
  • recognised experience and knowledge in appropriate areas pertaining to:
    • water use and planning
    • regional development
    • pastoral enterprise
    • irrigated agriculture
    • horticulture
    • mining
    • tourism
    • community interests
    • environmental protection
    • water engineering and water management
    • Aboriginal enterprise and
    • Aboriginal cultural values
  • demonstrated ability to work with a diverse group of people with a range of values, interests, backgrounds and expertise
  • ability to be representative of a stakeholder group and disseminate information to constituents (if possible, nominees should provide a letter of support or other evidence demonstrating that they are representative of a stakeholder group)
  • outline any potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

Terms of appointment

The membership of the committee will be for the period up until declaration of a new Water Allocation Plan for the Tindall Limestone Aquifer, Katherine, following its expiry in 2019.

Members who do not attend three consecutive meetings may have their membership reviewed.

Upon declaration of the new plan, the committee may be retained to advise on its implementation. Review of the terms of reference for the committee may be undertaken at this stage.

Operating arrangements

  • Members shall declare conflicts of interest and inform the chairperson immediately if a matter comes before the committee that may have a personal financial or other substantial personal interest. Should the committee request it, the member shall abstain from discussion about the affected matter.
  • Meetings will be held as often as necessary to conduct the business of the committee. It is envisaged meetings will be held twice per year during implementation phase of the plan and that more frequent meetings may be required during the development of the new plan.
  • Members may nominate to the chairperson an alternate to attend meetings in his/her place if he/she is unable to attend the whole or part of a meeting. The alternate has the same participating rights as the member for the duration of the meeting.
  • A quorum in respect of the committee shall comprise half the membership including alternates.
  • Sitting fees as per the remuneration for statutory bodies schedule payable to non- government appointees will apply.

Role of the chairperson

  • The chairperson is the primary media spokesperson for the committee.
  • The chairperson will advise members of their roles and obligations as members of the committee and will conduct meetings to foster effective consideration of issues referred to or raised by the committee, and which represent the diversity of views in the committee.
  • The chairperson will be responsible for settling meeting dates and agendas for meetings.
  • The chairperson will ensure accurate reporting of the advice and recommendations of the committee is provided to the department.
  • In the event that the chairperson is not able to attend a meeting he/she shall nominate an alternate chairperson, or if this is not possible, the committee shall elect a chairperson from those members present for that meeting.

Role of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources

  • The Water Resources Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (the department) will provide secretariat support to the committee and will organise meetings, prepare agendas and record minutes.
  • The Water Resources Division will provide staff and resources to equip the committee with knowledge and information to assist the committee to develop its advice and recommendations. The role of Water Resources Division staff in supporting the committee is to:
    • provide a draft Implementation Strategy for consideration by the committee including identifying gaps in knowledge and information and ways of filling those gaps, including through enhanced monitoring systems, and through seeking expertise outside of government
    • provide relevant technical information and analysis and ensure that it is presented in forms accessible to all members of the committee
    • report on progress against milestones of the Implementation Strategy
    • provide information and document a process to develop a new plan to replace the current plan upon its expiry in 2019
    • assist in framing advice and recommendations from the committee.

Download a printable version of the terms of reference PDF (165.2 KB).

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Last updated: 31 January 2020

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