Why are we updating the regulations for Joint private works schemes (JPWS)?
We have heard from members for JPWS that the current legislation that governs JPWS could be updated to make things easier. The department is implementing parts of the Water Management Amendment Act 2010 to simplify the regulation for private irrigation districts, private drainage boards and private water trusts.
This update will allow schemes to develop internal rules based on the needs of their scheme and any change in circumstances as well as reduce red tape such as the need to seek the Minister’s or the Governor’s approval for internal administrative changes.
How will the department consult with Joint private works schemes?
We are engaging with private irrigation districts and boards, private drainage boards and private water trusts. We will be asking for their advice on improvements to help develop clearer, simpler rules and regulations to implement changes under the Water Management Amendment Act 2010 to be incorporated into the Water Management Act 2000.
We welcome feedback via our online survey, we are also holding small group meetings to provide input to inform the development of the new rules and regulations. We will use this input to develop supporting information to help schemes meet these new requirements.
We have also set up a Stakeholder advisory panel, with schemes of different sizes and complexity, to work together with the department, to guide these improvements to the rules and regulations.
What is the process to update the regulation for JPWS?
There are several processes which need to take place before the legislative framework can be updated. This includes:
- engagement with JPWS to help develop the new and improved rules and regulations under the Water Management Amendment Act 2010 and to determine an appropriate transition period before the new regulation commences
- public exhibition phase of the proposed new regulation
- approval of the new rules and regulations by the Government
- updated communications about these new rules and regulations and information on how to help implement them.
When will the new regulation commence?
We are consulting with JPWS and other stakeholders from September 2022 to develop new rules and regulations, which will take at least 12 months.
Through this consultation, we will work together to determine an appropriate transition period for schemes before the new regulation applies.
We anticipate the regulation would likely commence from late 2023 onwards.
How will the new regulation benefit JPWS?
The new regulation will provide several benefits for JPWS. Based on feedback some of these benefits will:
- allow for the establishment of private water corporations
- allow changes without the Governor’s approval - for example, to change the boundaries of a private irrigation district, fill a casual board member vacancy or remove board members
- reduce the requirements for Ministerial approval – for example, to create boards and districts, change boundaries, change the number of board members or election of board members
- provide greater visibility to scheme members of the operations of their scheme, through the preparation of works plan and audited financial statements.
We are consulting with JPWS on the new rules and regulations to implement these changes.
I am part of a JPWS that would like to end the scheme, how do I do this?
There are several steps that need to be taken to officially wind-down a scheme, it is important that you contact the department for guidance on the legal process to do this.
Stakeholder advisory panel
One of the ways we are seeking input from schemes is via a new Stakeholder advisory panel.
We have engaged with a selection of schemes that range in complexity and size, to nominate a member of their scheme for membership of the Stakeholder advisory panel.
The Stakeholder advisory panel will contribute ideas and feedback via our online meetings, between September 2022 and August 2023 and will include the Department of Planning and Environment.
Member names and all meeting minutes will be published here once the Stakeholder advisory panel has been formed, which will be around September 2022.