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 Water savings targets

Rainwater tank laws pre-February 2013

Building development applications lodged for the construction of new class 1 buildings (houses, townhouses, terrace houses and villas) before 1 February 2013 in Queensland are required to meet mandatory water savings targets.
 
However, if the building certifier has not issued a final certificate for the home, it will be open for owners to apply to their building certifier to vary the approval to exclude a rainwater tank. This would be practical in situations where the rainwater tank has not yet been installed.
 
Building owners who have entered into contracts that include a rainwater tank should talk to their builder as soon as possible. For example, where the rainwater tank has not yet been supplied the owner and the builder may wish to discuss and negotiate a variation to the building contract. However, this is contractual matter and it is entirely up to the parties on how they wish to proceed.

The targets can be achieved through a number of options including:

  • household rainwater tanks
  • dual reticulation
  • communal rainwater tanks
  • stormwater re-use
  • an approved greywater treatment plant.

The targets apply to all council areas in Queensland. The targets for each council area are specified in the Queensland Development Code Part MP 4.2 Water Savings Targets (Appendix B). Where rainwater tanks are used to meet the water savings targets councils can:

  • accept the minimum requirements set out in QDC Part MP 4.2
  • specify an increased minimum in a local government planning instrument for storage capacities, roof catchment areas or other household fixture connections.

Rainwater tank requirements

When a rainwater tank is used to meet the new targets, the minimum capacity and connection standards specified for tank installation are:

  • single, detached houses must install a rainwater tank with a minimum 5,000 litres capacity
  • non-detached houses (such as terrace houses, townhouses and semi-detached houses) must install a rainwater tank with a minimum 3,000 litre capacity
  • all rainwater tanks must receive rainfall from at least half of the available roof catchment area or 100 square metres, whichever is lesser
  • provisions must be made during installation for tanks to be connected for internal use to all toilet cisterns, washing machine cold water taps and for external use to at least one tap
  • to ensure internal fixtures supplied from a rainwater tank have a continuous supply of water, the installation of an automatic switching device or a trickle top up system may be required.

Exemptions

Under the previous requirements (pre 1 February 2013) local governments were able to apply the Minister for an exemption from water savings targets where:

The Minister granted the following local governments an exemption under QDC Part MP 4.2:

Council exemptions

Council Exemption date from Exemption date to
Aurukun Shire Council 12 October 2009 11 October 2012
Barcaldine Shire Council 9 June 2010 30 June 2013
Burdekin Shire Council 29 June 2010 30 June 2013
Cassowary Coast Regional Council 29 June 2010 30 June 2013
Central Highlands Regional Council 6 May 2010 5 May 2013
Charters Towers Regional Council 9 June 2010 30 June 2013
Cloncurry Shire Council​ 1 August 2012​ ​1 August 2015
Cook Shire Council 29 June 2010 30 June 2013
Croydon Shire Council​ 22 February 2011​ 21 February 2014​
Diamantina Shire Council 18 October 2010 17 October 2013
Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council 22 April 2011 22 April 2014
Flinders Shire Council 9 June 2010 30 June 2013
Hinchinbrook Shire Council 20 June 2010 30 June 2013
Mount Isa City Council 29 June 2010 30 June 2013
Tablelands Regional Council 23 June 2010 30 June 2013
Torres Shire Council 13 August 2010 26 August 2013
Townsville City Council 14 June 2010 30 June 2013
Whitsunday Regional Council 27 August 2010 26 August 2013

Building development applications made in these local government areas before 1 February 2013 do not have to comply with the water savings targets in QDC MP 4.2 or the requirements of QDC MP 4.3. For building development applications made on or after 1 February 2013 the water savings targets no longer apply in any local government area (unless that local government has been approved to opt in to the requirements of the revised Queensland Development Code Part 4.2 – Rainwater tanks and other supplementary water supply systems (for residential – class 1, 2 and 10 - buildings) and Part 4.3 – Supplementary water sources – commercial buildings (for commercial and industrial - class 3-9 - buildings). To view the Queensland Development Code Parts

Lapsed exemptions

Council Exemption date from Exemption date to
Atherton Shire Council (now see Tablelands Regional Council) 1 July 2007 22 June 2010
Barcaldine Shire Council (now see Barcaldine Regional Council) 6 November 2007 8 June 2010
Bauhinia Shire Council (now see Central Highlands Regional Council) 8 September 2007 5 May 2010
Bowen Shire Council (now see Whitsunday Regional Council) 27 August 2007 26 August 2010
Blackall-Tambo Regional Council 1 October 2008 30 September 2011
Burdekin Shire Council 1 July 2007 30 June 2010
Cairns City Council 1 July 2007 30 June 2008
Cardwell Shire Council (now see Cassowary Coast Regional Council) 1 July 2007 20 June 2010
Charters Towers City Council (now see Charters Towers Regional Council) 1 July 2007 8 June 2010
Cloncurry Shire Council 8 June 2008 7 June 2011
Cook Shire Council 1 July 2007 30 June 2010
Dalrymple Shire Council (now see Charters Towers Regional Council) 27 August 2007 8 June 2010
Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council 21 April 2010 21 April 2011
Douglas Sire Council 1 July 2007 30 June 2009
Eacham Shire Council (now see Tablelands Regional Council) 1 July 2007 30 June 2010
Emerald Shire Council (now see Central Highlands Regional Council) 1 July 2007 5 May 2010
Flinders Shire Council 1 July 2007 30 June 2010
Hinchinbrook Shire Council 1 July 2007 19 June 2010
Herberton Shire Council (now see Tablelands Regional Council) 27 August 2007 22 June 2010
Jericho Shire Council (now see Barcaldine Regional Council) 1 July 2007 8 June 2010
Johnstone Shire Council (now see Cassowary Coast Regional Council) 1 July 2007 30 June 2010
Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council​ 9 June 2009​ 8 June 2012​
Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council 4 November 2008 3 November 2011
Mareeba Shire Council (excluding the townships of Chillagoe, Almaden and Irvinebank) (now see Tablelands Regional Council) 1 July 2007 22 June 2010
Mount Isa City Council 1 July 2007 30 June 2010
Thuringowa City Council (now see Townsville City Council) 1 July 2007 13 June 2010
Torres Shire Council 27 August 2007 12 August 2010
Townsville City Council 1 July 2007 13 June 2010

Local government amalgamations

Where an existing local government area or part of a local government area was granted an exemption, the exemption remains for the duration of the exemption period.



Last updated 01 September 2015    


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