New water management legislation in Victoria
Victoria is gearing up for a new water management system and those with home mortgages should pay attention to the changes.
The State government introduced a new bill to parliament that consolidates the existing Water Industry Act 1994 and the Water Act 1989. The move is partly driven by the need for a singular, streamlined piece of legislation, according to a June 26 statement from the Premier of Victoria.
The proposed Water Act 2014 will offer an "effective legislative framework necessary for modern water management", according to Minister for Water Peter Walsh.
Mr Walsh read the bill to the legislative assembly on June 26.
What changes are proposed?
The water reform doesn't just streamline the existing legislation governing water management in Victoria. It also aims to safeguard water users' rights and strengthen environmental water protection.
Mr Walsh explained that more precise definitions have been proposed to ensure continued environmental protection. Individuals that make decisions in the future that touch upon the state's waterways and environmental values will have a number of core considerations to reflect upon, should the latest reform pass into law.
However, the new legislation also focuses on safeguarding water rights, with no adjustment to the current "volume, reliability or tenure of existing water entitlements", Mr Walsh stated.
Easement agreements will have to meet new requirements, while there are new guidelines in place for water corporations seeking to build permanent infrastructure that impinges upon homeowners' private property rights.
"The new Act gives landowners greater protection of privacy and property rights", Mr Walsh explained.
This proposed protection will relieve those with variable and fixed home loans across the state.
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