28 May 2011

A forthcoming UQ Water Law course will use lessons learned from Queensland’s floods as part of an intensive introduction to Australian water resources law and policy.

Water scarcity is a major issue facing Australia although, as recent events have shown, the management of its opposite extreme can be equally challenging.

In Queensland, the enactment of the Water Act 2000, the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, and the South East Queensland Water (Restructuring) Act 2007 have provided a new legal and regulatory framework for the governance of the water industry and management of water resources.

However, this framework continues to be challenged by the development of new industries, such as the exploitation of Coal Seam Gas, and by the impact of climate change manifested in the extremes of drought and flood.

As water becomes an increasingly scarce and contested resource, there is an even greater need for those involved in the water industry to understand the legal provisions being established for its management and protection.

UQ’s Water Law course tackles these issues within an intensive foundation program designed for lawyers and professionals working in primary industry, government and resource projects.

Study will focus on the law of Queensland and applicable Commonwealth law and national water policy.

The four-day course will be delivered by UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law and is coordinated by resource law specialist Alex Gardner - Associate Professor of The University of Western Australia, Adjunct Professor of the Australian National University and a Chief Investigator of the National Centre for Groundwater Research.

Dr Gardner said water resources regulation impacte on all sectors of our economy; especially primary industry, resource projects, land development and the water services industry.

"This course provides foundational understanding, practical insights and the latest legal news on flood control and coal seam gas regulation,” he said.

Incorporating a comprehensive range of water law topics, the study program draws on extensive research undertaken by Professor Gardner for his co-authored book, Water Resources Law, and from his experience as an environmental law practitioner and advisor to the Federal and Western Australian Governments.

On day four, course participants will interact with expert guest presenters leading a critical analysis of two of the region’s most contentious water-related issues.

In the wake of Queensland’s devastating floods and the ongoing investigations by the Flood Commission of Inquiry, infrastructure law specialist Alan Millhouse will present a compelling case study on flood control.

Mr Millhouse, a UQ Adjunct Professor and Consultant at Allens Arthur Robinson, brings significant expertise from his work as a legal advisor on numerous Queensland infrastructure projects.

The final session of the course will take a close look at the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry and its impact on Australia’s water resources.

Randall Cox, General Manager of Coal Seam Gas Water at the Queensland Water Commission, will lead a discussion of the CSG industry from a regulatory perspective.

Offered as part of the University’s Master of Laws program, with alternative options to study on a non-award or Continuing Professional Development basis, UQ’s Water Law course is available to lawyers, postgraduate students and other professionals involved in the use and management of Australia’s most valuable natural resource.

Applications close on 10 June 2011. For further information visit www.law.uq.edu.au/llm-laws7700#environment.

Course details:

Name: Water Law
Venue: TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus
Date: 9-12 July, 2011
Enrolments: LLM Coordinator, telephone 3365 8824, email llm@law.uq.edu.au

Media information:
Melissa Reynolds, School of Law Marketing, 07 3365 2523, m.reynolds@law.uq.edu.au