Assignment of Cape York Peninsula Heritage Area water licences
The Cape York water plan reserves water to support the economic and social needs of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.
Water in the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Area (CYPHA) reserve can be accessed by eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entities through the issue of a CYPHA water licence.
A CYPHA water licence can be held by an ‘eligible person’, defined as:
- an entity that holds Aboriginal freehold land such as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation or a land trust
- a native title holder such as a registered native title body corporate (RNTBC).
Holders of a CYPHA water licence can use the licence for their own projects. They are also able to enter into agreements to assign part or all of the water to other interested water users.
This page explains how to get in touch with CYPHA water licence holders and the assignment process.
How much water is available?
The volume of the water in the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Area (CYPHA) reserve is shown in Table 1 below.
The volume of water in each catchment that is held in the CYPHA reserve is allocated to eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons based on the proportion of land interests they have in that catchment.
Table 1. CYPHA reserve by catchment
|Catchment||Volume of CYPHA reserve (megalitres)|
An existing CYPHA licence holder will need to apply to amend their licence to allow for the assignment. The application will need to include sufficient information so that the application can be assessed against the rules in the Cape York water plan.
An eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entity which does not yet hold a licence can request a licence at any time. Once the licence is granted they can then apply for an assignment to another person or entity.
Find out more about the CYPHA water licence assignment process.
CYPHA water licences can only be assigned in the same catchment and only for an agreed period. CYPHA water licences cannot be permanently traded.
Finding an existing licence holder
To find an existing licence holder you can:
- Use the water entitlement viewer to view existing CYPHA water licences.
- Talk to local water brokers, real estate agents or solicitors.
Finding an eligible person
To contact eligible persons you can:
- Email email@example.com for information on Aboriginal freehold land in a catchment, then request a title search to find out who owns the Aboriginal freehold land.
- Search the National Native Title Register to find native title holders.
- Search the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations public register for the contact details of Aboriginal corporations, land trusts and native title body corporates.
For more information about CYPHA water licences contact:
Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water
Phone: (07) 4017 0140
28 Peters Street
Mareeba QLD 4880
- View the CYPHA water licence rules in the Cape York water management protocol (PDF, 573KB).
- Visit the Cape York water plan to find out about how water is managed in the Cape York Peninsula.
- Find out more about Cape York Peninsula Heritage Area water licences.
- Last reviewed: 8 Dec 2020
- Last updated: 21 Jun 2021
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