Proposed water bores in the Cook sub-artesian area require a development permit unless they are only for stock or domestic purposes or they are an exempt bore. Within the Duck Farm sub-artesian area (in Cooktown area), only exempt bores do not require a development permit.

Exempt bores are defined under the Water Regulation 2002 as:
(a) a water bore used for monitoring the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of water in an aquifer;

Examples of physical characteristics of water— standing water level, water discharge rate, water pressure
(b) a water bore for testing the water production capacity, water production quality or hydraulic properties of an aquifer;
(c) a water bore for taking water for stock or domestic purposes;
(d) a non-stock or domestic water bore constructed, erected or installed in a sub-artesian area mentioned in schedule 11, part 2, column 1, but not within the critical distance from a boundary of a parcel of land, a watercourse or another water bore;
(e) a replacement water bore.

Critical distances for non-stock or domestic water bores in the Cook and Duck Farm sub-artesian areas are currently 200 metres from a boundary of a parcel of land and 400 metres from another water bore. All aquifers connected to the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) require a development permit, regardless of their purpose. If you are unsure if a development permit application is required you can phone the Department of Natural Resources and Mines Mareeba Office on 4048 4850.