Review and Amendment of the Great Forester Catchment Water Management Plan

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Draft Amended Management Plan released for public comment

The Tasmanian Government is committed to providing opportunities for community involvement in the development of Government policy and we are seeking your input on the draft amended Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan.

​A review of the Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan, adopted in 2003, has been conducted and draft amendments have been prepared in consultation with key stakeholders (see below).  An updated Water Management Plan has been prepared and is now available for public comment.

The key changes to the 2003 Plan include:

  • Inclusion of a preamble recognising the importance of the river to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
  • Modernising the objectives of the Plan.
  • ​Setting a limit for the volume of water allocations permitted in the catchment.
  • Modifying the boundary between the Upper and Lower Water Management Zones to include the lower coastal sections of Hurst Creek / Coxs Rivulet and Tuckers Creek in the lower zone.
  • Providing low flow thresholds for the whole year and not just the irrigation season (summer take period).  The summer low flow thresholds (the Managed Minimum Flow) will remain the same while new winter thresholds have been introduced.
  • Introducing an opportunistic take - access threshold to allow water to be taken during periods of high flow.
  • Refinement of monitoring to be conducted in the catchment.
  • Removal of the requirement to have a groundwater licensing system in place due to current low risk of groundwater use.​

Documents open for public comment

  DRAFT Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan - Statutory Assessments   (633Kb)

A range of supporting documents are also available to understand what the important values are in the catchment, to provide background scientific and technical information about the water resource and understand how we came to make certain decisions: Water Resources Information for the Great Forester Catchment​.

Public Meeting

A public meeting to discuss the draft amended Plan and process for making representations has been scheduled for 1 pm on 3 November 2020 at the Scottsdale Public Library, 51 King Street, Scottsdale.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions (and according to the DPIPWE COVID-19 (Agency Wide and Site Specific) Safe Plans), numbers are strictly limited and it is essential to RSVP.  Please register to secure your place by contacting Danielle Hardie on​ or on 0437 922 083.

  COVID-19 Safe Plan for the Great Forester WMP review meeting   (168Kb)

Alternatively, the Department will be running a free live Teams webinar on Thursday 5 November 2020 at 1 pm. Registration is essential to receive the link to the webinar.  Please contact Danielle Hardie on​ or on 0437 922 083 to RSVP.

Following the close of the public exhibition period, any representations received will be considered by the Department.  After considering the written representations on the draft amended Plan, a copy of those representations and a report containing: a summary of the representations; the Department's response to those representations; and a summary of any proposed modification to the draft amended Plan are to be forwarded to the Tasmanian Planning Commission for review.

How to​ make​​​ a subm​ission

​​Submissions o​n the draft amended Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan must be received by 11.59 pm on Friday 11 December 2020.

Submissions submitted using the online form

Or by post to:

Water Planning - Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan
Agriculture and Water Division
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
GPO Box 44

All submissions will be treated as public information and made available on the Tasmanian Planning Commission's website.  If you wish for your submission to be treated as confidential, either whole or in part, please note this in writing at the time of making your submission.

No personal information other than an individual's name or the organisation making a submission will be published.

For further information please contact the project team at​​

Accessibili​ty of submissions

The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information.  We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.

Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.

Import​​ant information to note

Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.

In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.

If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.

Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.

The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material.  If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.

The Right t​o Information Act 2009 and confidentiality

Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure.  You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.​​

Review and amendment process

The Great Forester Catchment Water Management Plan was the first water management plan to be prepared and adopted in Tasmania in 2003.

The Plan sets out the framework for managing the water resources in the Great Forester River catchment, in accordance with the Water Management Act 1999, to ensure that water is shared effectively between a range of users, including the community, the environment and commercial users.

  Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan Fact Sheet   (347Kb)

Since the Plan was adopted, many changes have occurred in the catchment – a shift in enterprises, a new irrigation scheme (and another on the way) and an increase in water allocation and other water developments.

DPIPWE has completed a review of the Water Management Plan that reflects these changes and aims to improve the way we manage water in the future.

The review and amendment of the Plan being undertaken according to Section 34 of the Water Management Act 1999, is guided by the Water Management Planning Guiding Principles for the Development of Statutory Water Management Plans and involves statutory requirements for public consultation.

The review of the Plan has been conducted in consultation with the key stakeholders through the Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan Consultative Group.

The Consultative Group has been re-established to provide DPIPWE with a balanced range of views, local knowledge, advice and feedback from key stakeholders on matters relating to the review and amendment of the Plan. 

The Consultative Group has provided preliminary input to draft amendments to the Plan (prior to their release for formal public feedback).  Stakeholder input through the plan drafting and feedback stages supported the development of a draft Plan that best meets the needs of local water users and recognises water resource complexities for the area.  The draft Plan is now being presented for public feedback.

  Great Forester River Catchment Water Management Plan Consultative Group Terms of Reference   (255Kb)​

The Consultative Group consists of the following members and stakeholder groups.

Mr Andrew BaldwinNRM North
Mr Roger BignellWater user/Dairy
Mr Wayne BowmanWater user/Dairy
Mr Michael Caminada
Anglers Alliance Tasmania
Mrs Elizabeth HallWater user/Vegetable growers/Beef cattle
Mr Greg HowardDorset Council
Mr Russell McDougallTasmanian Irrigation
Mr Cameron Moore
Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group
Mr Nick Steel
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
Mr Peter SattlerDorset NRM
Mr Richard Sattler
Water user/Vegetable growers/Beef cattle
Ms Rebecca SaylesTasWater​

We have completed the preliminary consultation with stakeholders to prepare the draft amendments to the Plan.  The draft amended Water Management Plan for the Great Forester River catchment is currently available for public comment (see above).


Further Information

Water resources information has been prepared to help us understand the water resource in the catchment and develop strategies to address specific water management issues: Water Resources Information for the Great Forester Catchment​.

If you would like further information on the draft amended Water Management Plan please contact a member of the Consultative Group that best represents your interests or Danielle Hardie (Project Officer (Water Policy and Planning) on 0437 922 083 or via email at


If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive newsletter updates, please contact staff on the details above.

  Review and Amendment of the Great Forester Water Management Plan - Update 1 June 2019   (383Kb)​

  Review and amendment of the Great Forester Catchment Water Management Plan_Update 2 October 2020   (351Kb)​


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