Statutory reconfiguration refers to the powers provided to an Authority under the Water Act 1989 to reconfigure its water delivery system by the adoption of a reconfiguration plan.
For the purpose of the Connections Project, it allows us to proceed with work on Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) assets even if agreement cannot be reached with all landowners associated with a particular proposed modernisation solution.
Statutory reconfiguration enables GMW to reconfigure its water delivery system via the adoption of a reconfiguration plan.
A reconfiguration plan that has been adopted by GMW is a map that shows the new location of GMW assets on a particular channel or group of channels.
Before we adopt a reconfiguration plan, we need to have followed a process of consultation with affected landowners and other bodies (if required).
It is important to note that statutory reconfiguration only applies to GMW assets, such as channels and meters. It does not apply to any privately owned infrastructure or assets (i.e. on-farm infrastructure that connects you to the water delivery network).
It will not be used to terminate a water delivery service.
Why we need statutory reconfiguration
Until now, the Connections Project has been seeking voluntary agreements with landowners to carry out modernisation-related works. We've also been making upfront payments to landowners to carry out their own on-farm works.
We know that while many landowners have completed their works and received the benefits of modernisation, there are also many who have waited, sometimes for years, to see any progress.
One of the reasons for the delay has been the inability of the project to reach agreement on the modernisation solution for one or more landowners on a channel. Sometimes, one landowner's refusal to engage with the project team holds up several other landowners on the same channel.
This has resulted in time delays as well as frustration on the part of landowners.
Statutory reconfiguration is a tool that can be used when other methods have not worked.
Our new landowner engagement process incorporates statutory reconfiguration steps.
For more information you can read our fact sheet on statutory reconfiguration.