Water Act 1912 No 44
Current version for 1 January 2014 to date (accessed 23 December 2014 at 02:37)
Part 2Division 5Section 22B

22B   Restriction or suspension of rights held under licences etc during periods of water shortage

(1)  If at any time the Ministerial Corporation is satisfied that the quantity of water available, or likely to be available, in a river, lake or section of a river is insufficient to meet all requirements with respect to the taking of water from the river, lake or section, it may, in the manner provided in this section, restrict or suspend the rights held under licences, group licences, authorities or permits issued under this Part, or held under section 7, for the taking of water for any purpose from the river, lake or section or any part of the river, lake or section.
(2)  Particulars of any restrictions or suspensions imposed by the Ministerial Corporation under subsection (1) shall be notified in the Gazette and in a newspaper published and circulating in the district in which the river, lake or section is located.
(3)  A notification made under subsection (2) may be amended, altered, modified or cancelled by the Ministerial Corporation and particulars of any such amendment, alteration, modification or cancellation shall be notified in the Gazette and in a newspaper published and circulating in the district in which the river, lake or section is located.
(4)  In imposing restrictions or suspensions under this section, the Ministerial Corporation may restrict or suspend rights for the taking of water in accordance with the following order of priority:
(a)  firstly, rights under permits for any purpose other than domestic and stock supply,
(b)  secondly, rights under licences, group licences and authorities for the purpose of irrigation,
(c)  thirdly, rights under licences, group licences and authorities for purposes other than irrigation and domestic and town and village water supply, rights under permits for stock supply and rights held under section 7 for the taking of water for stock supply, and
(d)  fourthly, rights under licences, group licences, authorities and permits for domestic purposes and town and village water supply and rights held under section 7 for the taking of water for domestic purposes.
(5)  In exercising the power conferred on it by subsection (4), the Ministerial Corporation:
(a)  shall impose restrictions or suspensions in respect of all rights specified in a paragraph of that subsection before imposing any restrictions or suspensions in respect of any rights specified in any subsequent paragraph of that subsection, and
(b)  may, when imposing restrictions or suspensions under subsection (4) (b), restrict or suspend rights with respect to the irrigation of any class of crops or plantings without restricting or suspending rights with respect to the irrigation of any other class of crops or plantings.
(6)  When the Ministerial Corporation has, in accordance with this section, imposed a restriction on a right held under section 7 or held under a licence, group licence, authority or permit to take water, a person shall not take water except in accordance with the right as so restricted.
(7)  When the Ministerial Corporation has, in accordance with this section, suspended a right held under section 7 or held under any licence, group licence, authority or permit to take water, a person shall not take water in purported exercise of that right.
(8)  Any person who contravenes subsection (6) or (7) is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a penalty not exceeding:
(a)  where the offence was committed by a corporation—200 penalty units, or
(b)  where the offence was committed by any other person—100 penalty units.
(9)  If, in any proceedings against an occupier of land for an offence under subsection (8), it is proved that a work on that land was used in contravention of subsection (6) or, as the case may be, subsection (7), the water concerned in that alleged offence shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have been taken by the occupier.
Top of page