New Stormwater Legislation for Tasmania

The main outcome of the review of the Drains Act was that it should be replaced by modern and fit-for-purpose stormwater management legislation that assists local councils to effectively and efficiently manage urban stormwater.

The Urban Drainage Act

The Urban Water Policy Unit developed draft legislation, the Urban Drainage Bill 2013, to replace the Drains Act.

Following a public consultation process, and taking account of submissions received on the draft Bill, the Bill was finalised and presented to Parliament.  The Act was approved by Parliament and received Royal Assent on 19 December 2013.  The Urban Drainage Act 2013 is now Tasmania's primary legislation governing the provision of urban stormwater drainage services by local councils. 

The main objective of this Act is to protect the community by ensuring the safe and sustainable provision of stormwater services. To achieve the objectives of the Act, the legislation provides for five key elements:

1. The Act provides each council with a non-delegable duty to effectively drain the urban part of its municipal area;

2. The Act details that each council must develop a stormwater system management plan for its municipal area;

3.  The Act provides councils with the necessary powers to ensure the operation and protection of their stormwater               management systems;

4.  The Act describes the circumstances under which a person may be connected or disconnected from a stormwater   management system; and

5.  The Act provides councils and third party infrastructure owners with a structure for arranging for councils to access infrastructure that is owned and operated by a third party, for the purposes of providing stormwater drainage.

As part of the development process for the draft Bill the Urban Water Policy Unit sought input from interested parties, including local councils and the regional water and sewerage corporations, on the draft legislation.

Public Consultation

As part of the process of finalising the draft legislation prior to it being presented to the Parliament, the Urban Water Policy Unit prepared a draft of the proposed legislation for public consultation.

Stakeholders were invited to provide comment on the draft Bill. All submissions were considered by the Urban Water Policy Unit with a view to adjusting the draft legislation in accordance with comments receieved where it was considered necessary.

To assist in understanding the draft Bill the Urban Water Policy Unit provided an explanatory memorandum, which contains an overview of the proposed legislation.

The memorandum is intended to provide an introduction to the main powers and provisions of the draft Bill and does not describe every detail of the draft Bill.

Draft Urban Drainage Bill 2013 (371 KB)

Explanatory Memorandum Urban Drainage Bill 2013 (34 KB)

Submissions received on the draft Bill

Public submissions on the draft Bill were received from a number of local councils, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and the Water and Sewerage Corporations.

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - Clarence City Council (180 KB)

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - Glenorchy City Council (158 KB)

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - Hobart City Council (90 KB)

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - Huon Valley Council (456 KB)

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - Launceston City Council (55 KB)

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - LGAT (379 KB)

Submission on Urban Drainage Bill - Water and Sewerage Corporations (1.49 MB)

NB copyright in submissions sent to the Department resides with the author(s).

Response Paper to Submissions Received on Draft Bill

The draft Urban Drainage Bill was released for a six week public consultation period from 21 January 2013 until 1 March 2013. As part of the consultation for the draft Bill workshops were held with council officers in each of the state's three regions. The workshops provided the Department with the opportunity to introduce the draft Bill to councils and discuss any issues or suggestions councils may have had with the Bill. The workshops were well attended with representatives from 23 councils, the Local Government Associations of Tasmania and the water and sewerage corporations attending the sessions. In addition to the regional meetings Departmental officers addressed a number of individual enquiries from individual councils and the water and sewerage corporations.

The feedback received during the consultation process included written submissions, direct feedback during the workshops and individual enquiries from council officers. The combined feedback resulted in a number of suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the Bill.

The Department has prepared the attached paper to summarise the suggestions raised through the public consultation process, and provide a response to these. The paper contains a summary of all the suggestions received, with a number of suggestions being put forward in more than one submission. The suggestions are ordered in accordance with the sections of the Bill, with each suggestion being summarised and the Department's response to each of these provided. Following the response an action is listed for each suggestion, with three categories of action being shown, namely;

    1. Revision incorporated into the draft legislation

    The suggested change to the Bill has been reviewed and accepted and the relevant section updated.

    2. Issue addressed by other action

    The suggested change to the Bill is a valid one which has either been addressed already in a later section of the draft Bill or has been addressed in response to an earlier suggestion in this paper.

    3. No further action required

    The suggested change is not required or is considered inappropriate and no change will be made to the Bill.

Draft Urban Drainage Bill Feedback Response Paper (89 KB)


Urban Water Enquiries
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: (03) 616 53217