Category 2 Water Authorities - Queensland


The department is responsible for the administration and oversight of 50 category 2 water authorities established under chapter 4 of the Water Act 2000. As statutory bodies they have statutory obligations under that Act, its governing legislation, and other public sector legislation and, as well, may be required to implement government policies.

As chapter 4 of the Water Act 2000 provides a framework for the establishment and operation of water authorities and their amalgamation or dissolution, NRM Programs provides information about the statutory processes applicable, the roles and responsibilities of water authorities, their directors and employees and government policy relevant to statutory authorities.

The department's focus is to assist water authorities:

  • by creating and providing information about accountability requirements
  • by achieving best practice in corporate governance
  • by encouraging community involvement in making and implementing arrangements for using, conserving and sustainably managing water.

Further information about water authorities can be accessed on the department's website.

Service type

Support Service

A service offered by government to aid in running a business.

Eligibility requirements

No specific eligibility criteria apply.


No establishment fees apply.

However, section 717 of the Water Act 2000 does allow the State to recover from a water authority certain costs incurred by the State in establishing a water authority for example, designing works the authority intends to build, conducting site investigations and publishing notice of the authority?s proposed establishment.

Costs involved in developing a proposal would be borne by proponents of the scheme.

Publications Details process

The department's website provides access to many bulletins, fact sheets, guidelines, reports etc., about water authorities and service providers.

Additional information

The establishment of a water authority can be a protracted process. The proponents of a proposed water authority would need to submit for the chief executives consideration a proposal which includes:

  • the principles of the scheme, general information and other particulars
  • evidence of support from scheme participants; and
  • other relevant information which may be required by the chief executive.

The proposed scheme would be sufficiently investigated to demonstrate its feasibility as well as financial viability.

As part of the development of a proposal some of the activities to be undertaken by the proponents include:

  • preliminary design studies
  • planning investigation (including, for example, requirements for development and other approvals, water entitlements)
  • cost estimates
  • Impact Assessment Study (IAS)
  • Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
  • application for planning approvals and water entitlements
  • financing arrangements; and
  • taking legal or other professional advice necessary.

The Water Act 2000 requires public notice be given about the proposal and provides for written submissions to be made and considered before a water authority is formally established.

It is preferred that there be in excess of 12 participating landholders in the scheme.

Proponents should also give consideration to other forms of institutional arrangements for example:

  • management by agreement
  • co-operative schemes; and
  • companies or trusts.

Establishment by regulation of a water authority also means that the authority is a statutory body and subject to various public sector accountability type legislation including for example, the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982. A water authority is required to prepare annual financial statements for audit by the Auditor-General and an Annual Report which is to be tabled in Parliament. A water authoritys banking, borrowing and investment powers are governed by legislation.

A water authority that owns infrastructure for supplying water or sewerage services must, before commencing to operate, apply for registration under the Water Act 2000 as a service provider.

A water authority receives no funding from the State and all revenue of the authority is derived from its customers and ratepayers within its authority area.

Further information about registered service providers may be obtained from the department's website.

Administering agency

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Service Delivery

Operations Support

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Manager, Water Entity Governance and Projects

Operations Support

Service Delivery

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Operating address: Level 14, 61 Mary Street
Queensland 4000
Mailing address: GPO Box 2454
Queensland 4001
Phone: 07 3199 7741
Fax: 07 3199 7843
Website: Department of Natural Resources and Mines (Opens in new window)