The quality of natural waters in Queensland is protected under the Environmental Protection Policy 2009 (EPP(Water)). The EPP(Water) achieves the objective of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) to protect Queensland’s waters while supporting ecologically sustainable development. Queensland waters include water in rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes, aquifers, estuaries and coastal areas.
Environmental values (EVs) and water quality objectives (WQOs) are being progressively determined for areas of Queensland (refer to maps of our region below). EVs define the uses of the water by aquatic ecosystems and for human uses (e.g. drinking water, stock water, irrigation, aquaculture, recreation, industry). WQOs define objectives for the physico-chemical characteristics of the water (e.g. nitrogen content, dissolved oxygen, turbidity). Where sufficient information exists, biological indicators can also be used (e.g. fish, macroinvertebrates). Once they are finalised and approved by Government, EVs/WQOs are included in Schedule 1 of the EPP (Water). EVs/WQOs for Fitzroy Basin waters were scheduled in 2011 (with an update planned). EVs/WQOs for the Capricorn and Curtis coasts were scheduled in 2014. FBA was heavily involved in development of these EVs/WQOs, including coordination of regional stakeholder meetings and consultation. Final EVs/WQOs are available from the EHP website.
Local EVs and WQOs inform planning and decision making for development under the Environmental Protection Act (e.g. point source environmentally relevant activities); local government planning and decision making for urban land development under the State Planning Policy (Water Quality State Interest – Sustainable Planning Act); best practice management approaches to address diffuse emissions from rural lands; development of report cards on aquatic ecosystem health; and catchment-scale management planning and decisions by regional natural resource management (NRM) bodies.
For more detail visit the EHP web site.
Click on the buttons below to view a PDF of the Environmental Values for the Capricorn and Curtis coasts.