Which properties will be impacted by the project?
We are carrying out detailed flood modelling to identify potentially impacted properties and quantify any potential environmental impacts from the project, and to develop suitable mitigation measures if required. The project will contribute to a step improvement in flood management capacity in the Border Rivers region.
If part of my property is required for the dam, will Water Infrastructure NSW acquire that portion or the whole of my property?
Water Infrastructure NSW is developing the Mole River Dam business case.
If the business case is approved Water Infrastructure NSW would then work closely with any impacted landholders and negotiations would involve independent market appraisals including support to property owners to undertake their own appraisals including support to property owners to undertake their own appraisals to inform that negotiation process. The extent of land acquisition on each property will be determined on a case-by-case basis and Water Infrastructure NSW will work to the requirements of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. This process is used by the NSW Government for land acquisition. For more information about this process, visit the NSW Government Centre for Property Acquisition.
How will property valuations be determined?
If the Mole River Dam business case is approved, Water Infrastructure NSW would work closely with any impacted landholders where we need to acquire property for the project.
Case-by-case negotiations with landholders would involve independent market appraisals including support to property owners to undertake their own appraisals to inform the negotiation process.
Will the project offer employment opportunities?
Water Infrastructure NSW is developing the Mole River Dam business case. Employment opportunities would be known if the business case and funding to construct the project are approved.
A key guiding principle for our projects is to maximise local employment benefits during construction and operations.
Will materials and equipment for the project be sourced from local businesses?
Water Infrastructure NSW is developing the Mole River Dam business case. We expect opportunities to flow for local business if the business case and funding to construct the project are approved.
If the Mole River Dam business case is approved, Water Infrastructure NSW will set up a portal for local businesses to register their interest. These details will then be supplied to all project contractors. Part of the evaluation of tenderers will be based on their track record in using local suppliers and maximising local benefits.
How has Aboriginal cultural heritage been considered?
To date 85 different indigenous individuals/groups for the Mole River Dam have been engaged, 45 are official Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) and another 40 that are not official RAPs but have expressed strong interest to be engaged.
The guiding principles that underpin the indigenous engagement on the project are inclusion and removing barriers to participate.
The indigenous engagement is focused on the cultural heritage stage of the environmental investigations required for the business case. Broader indigenous engagement would occur if the project is approved to progress.
What is involved in the Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment?
Water Infrastructure NSW is undertaking an Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment of the proposed Mole River Dam.
This report is being undertaken in accordance with Heritage NSW guidelines, and has included close involvement with Aboriginal individuals and/or organisations.
As part of the project, this has included an unprecedented level of consultation with the Aboriginal community, including regular face-to-face and/or online meetings held across the region, and participation in an extended survey and excavation program of the proposed dam footprint.
The project also included on-site discussions between a highly experienced anthropologist (cultural mapping) and nine knowledge-holders and/or elders to identify their concerns, values and sites of importance, which will be incorporated into the report.
To date, the full extent of the cultural heritage for the site is still being investigated, and the management of this resource undetermined. Once these activities are complete, the report will be provided to the registered Aboriginal participants for their review, comment and input before finalisation.
How will the new dam affect water pricing?
Water Infrastructure NSW is in the early stages of planning the Mole River Dam and is developing a business case. A funding strategy is being determined through the development of the business case.
To the extent that the funding strategy determines the potential costs needed to be recovered by water users, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will be asked to ensure that the share of the cost borne by water users is fair and affordable. IPART’s role is to independently set prices for water to reflect the efficient cost of providing services and ensure fair prices for customers. IPART carries out consultation with stakeholders on increases in costs for water users.
The process for making a price determination for water users will involve an extensive consultation and review process by IPART allowing ample opportunity for local issues and concerns to be raised and addressed.
Can water licences be traded?
Water licences can be traded, with the price set by the market. The market price of licences is publicly available, and buyers and sellers can also engage water brokers to advise them.
Can water licences be traded to another valley or water system?
Water licences can typically be traded within the Border Rivers area, but not between the Border Rivers and another area unless water sharing rules or legislation allow. There are some locations in Australia where intervalley trade exists, but this is usually where there is a connection between the water sources.
How will water be allocated?
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in consultation with the community develop water sharing plans to determine how much water can be extracted over the long-term and how much needs to be set aside for the environment.
The volume of water licensed users can have, known as an allocation or available water determination (AWD), varies from year to year based on the licence category and size of their individual entitlement. This allocation is dependent on a range of factors including dam storage levels, river flows and catchment conditions.
For the Border Rivers, the Border Rivers Commission and the states have the responsibility for sharing water between the states. The states then allocate the water in accordance with their respective legislation.
When will the price for water license holders be determined?
The price of water will be determined as the project is progressed and final costs/ funding arrangements are settled between the states and federal governments at completion. Maintenance costs that will be passed on to customers will be determined after the final design of the dam.