Flinders unallocated water release

Current status

On 5 October 2022, all tenderers were advised of the outcome of their Stage 1 - Tender Application Preliminary.

Eligible tenderers with conforming tenders now have until 16 January 2023 to prepare and submit their response to the Tender Application Competitive under Stage 2 of the Terms of Sale.

In response to a high level of demand for water in the Flinders River Catchment area we have released 110,000ML of general reserve unallocated water for purposes which relate to 'rural' or 'any' within the Gulf water plan area.

The water being made available is surface water from watercourses (including tributaries) and overland flow water.

By making this water available, we are supporting agricultural development and stimulating investment and growth in the Flinders River catchment area.

This water has been accounted for and set aside for consumptive use through the water planning process. It is therefore within the sustainable limits for extraction from the system during the times of water flow.

Apply for water release

Applications closed 30 June 2022.

The Terms of Sale provides detailed information about the application process, as well as the department's process for assessing applications.

*On 14 April 2022, the Terms of Sale were amended to provide clarity and certainty about the application and assessment processes for tenderers and stakeholders and maximise participation in this unallocated water release process.

The tender process

The release will be a tender process with 3 stages.

Amendment to the timeframes for Stage 1 and Stage 2

The preliminary tender assessment process commenced on 1st July 2022.

The following timeframes have been amended to allow sufficient time for the department to assess the large volume of applicant information received.

Stage Original timeframe Amended timeframe
Stage 1 – Tender Application Preliminary: Part A Assessment period from 1 July 2022 until 29 July 2022 Assessment period from 1 July 2022 until 30 September 2022
Stage 2 – Tender Application Competitive Assessment: Part B submissions Submissions close 5pm, 31 October 2022 Submissions close 5pm, 16 January 2023

Stage 1: Tender Application Preliminary: Part: A

Key points

  • Eligible tenderers must submit a signed Stage 1 Tender Application with all the required information on or before the closing date. Conforming applications must meet the requirements for Stage 1 described under the Terms of Sale.
  • A watercourse determination outcome will be required for each location for taking or interfering with water.
  • Eligible tenderers must develop a water product that describes the water required for their project. The water product is developed using the approved catchment model and describes the activities for taking and interfering with water that must be authorised under the Water Act 2000 if the project were to proceed.
  • If the modelling identifies any adverse impacts the tenderer will need to rescope their project or submit a proposed permanent mitigation strategy. If the tender is progressed in Stage 2, the tenderer will be required to implement the strategy.

Key dates

  • 16 May 2022: watercourse determination requests must be made.
  • 5pm on 30 June 2022: Stage 1 tender applications must be submitted.

Stage 2: Tender Application Competitive: Part B

Key points

  • The Department will invite eligible and conforming tenderers from Stage 1 to submit their competitive tender application set out in the Terms of Sale.
  • Information provided as part of Stage 1 will also be used for the assessment.
  • The applications will be ranked in order of bid price from highest to lowest and then assessed in order starting with the highest ranked bid price.

Key dates

  • 5pm on 16 January 2023: Stage 2 competitive tender applications must be submitted.

Stage 3A: Call Option Deed – Offer

Key points

  • We will offer successful tenderer(s) a call option deed to buy a water licence.
  • To accept the offer, the successful tenderer must pay the option fee and sign the call option deed and return it to the Department by the due date.
  • If there is any remaining water available after the first successful tenderer has signed a call option deed, another bidder in Stage 2 may be asked to revise their water product consistent with the remaining volume available.

Stage 3B: Call Option Deed – Grant of Water Licence(s)

Key points

We will grant the water licences in accordance with the terms in the call option deed upon satisfactory completion of all the call option conditions and payment of the balance purchase price.


Small business hotline: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)