Streamlining Statutory Management Plans, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

The objective of a Statutory Management Plan (SMP) is to manage the water resources of the relevant area in an equitable manner so as to ensure the long-term sustainability of those resources. It is developed by a committee, which represents all the relevant interests in the area. An SMP considers the amount of water in a water supply protection area (usually an entire catchment) and prescribes how it will be shared between water users and the environment. Although SMPs were legally recognised in 2002, making and/or amending the management plans is complex and resource-intensive, which has driven rural water corporations and Melbourne Water to prepare Local Management Plans (LMPs). The purpose of this project is to consult with stakeholders to assist DELWP to better understand their expectations and needs relating to a streamlined statutory surface and groundwater management plan process and develop a recommended framework for the streamlined approach. In the future, it is expected that the streamlined statutory management plan process will be the only process used to prepare management plans. Acting on the commitment in Water for Victoria (Action 8.9) and recommendations from the Statutory Management Plan Reform project report (DELWP, 2017), the Department has proposed amendments in the 2018 Water Bill to streamline the planning process. It is expected the Bill will be introduced into Parliament in May 2018.