Lower Brisbane River and Cabbage Tree Creek Sub-catchments unallocated water release

The department is making 100 megalitres (ML) of unallocated water available for use by community facilities and small-scale businesses in the Lower Brisbane River and Cabbage Tree Creek sub-catchments.

Licences to take this water will help applicants manage their costs of providing high-quality facilities and services for the community.

Before applying for a water licence from this reserve, please read the Terms of Sale and the information below. Then follow the instructions in the Terms of Sale to apply.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted anytime until the closing date of 5pm on Thursday, 8 May 2025 or until all the available water has been granted to licensees, whichever comes first.

Details of the release are provided below.

For more information or to apply, email unallocatedwaterseq@rdmw.qld.gov.au or phone 1800 566 065.

This process to make unallocated water available follows a call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) which closed in February 2023. The department reviewed the EOIs received to determine the level of demand for this water, water product availability and pricing structures.

Who can apply

Applications can only be made by owners of land within the area of release (PDF, 967KB) or a prescribed entity. Applications need to be for either a community facility or small-scale commercial enterprise.

A community facility under section 25(2) of the Moreton Water Plan includes:

  • a public recreational facility such as:
    • showgrounds
    • community leisure centre
    • PCYC or Scouts grounds
    • green space for public amenities
    • water parklands
  • a sporting facility such as a golf club or sports field
  • another facility used by a not-for-profit organisation, for example community gardens.

A small-scale commercial enterprise is defined as a small enterprise with less than 20 employees (from Australian Bureau of Statistics).

How much water can you apply for

Eligible applicants may apply for an annual volume of up to 10ML of water.

Price and payment

The purchase prices for applicants who are eligible to apply for a water licence are:

  • a community facility will pay $0/ML
  • a small-scale commercial enterprise will pay $800/ML.

Annual licence fees will apply to all licences issued.

For small-scale commercial enterprises, payment in full must be received once an offer has been made by the department before the licence will be issued.

Purpose of the release

The release of unallocated water in the Lower Brisbane River and Cabbage Tree Creek sub-catchments has been tailored to maximise social and economic benefit to the local community and promote the efficient use of available water resources by easing reliance on urban drinking water supplies.

The capped volume per applicant maximises the number of applicants who can benefit from this process.

About the water resource

In December 2019, the Moreton Water Plan was amended to include 100ML of general or strategic reserve. This water was retrieved from expired or surrendered water licences in the Lower Brisbane River and the Cabbage Tree Creek sub-catchments areas since the original release of water plan in 2007 and is not deemed new water.

Our water planning process has ensured the extraction of this water is within sustainable limits for the health of the water system.

Impact on existing entitlements and the environment

Licences granted will include conditions that are designed to meet environmental flow objectives and protect existing users' access to water.

The annual volumetric limits granted will provide limits that ensure new entitlements will not compromise the reliability of existing entitlements. Flow thresholds will ensure that peak flows continue to provide ecological benefits to waterholes, floodplains, estuaries and wetlands.

Contact us

For assistance with the application process, contact the department by:

Email: Unallocatedwaterseq@rdmw.qld.gov.au

Phone: 1800 566 065

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