The Australian Water Brokers Association heard from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce as part of its Shepparton meeting last Wednesday.
AWBA president Tom Wilks said Mr Joyce’s main message was to do with self-regulation.
‘‘He strongly encouraged water brokers to self-regulate to maintain high standards of education and professionalism of the industry,’’ Mr Wilks said.
‘‘We are a voluntary self-regulated association and my role as president is to increase the membership and make it a disadvantage to not be a member.’’
Mr Wilks said many issues were discussed during the meeting but better communication between all parties was one of the main take-aways.
‘‘(A) G-MW (representative) spoke and they were keen on engaging brokers who speak to 20 to 40 irrigators a day.
‘‘If irrigation companies aren’t communicating, small problems can become big problems.
‘‘The ACCC would like to attend meetings and have more communication with the AWBA. We had to turn them away this meeting as we had a full schedule.’’
Despite a small membership, Mr Wilks said water brokers played a major role in completing water transactions.
‘‘The water broking industry is not that big but the members transact 70-80 per cent of all water transactions in the Southern Murray-Darling Connected Basin.’’
The meeting also allowed the AWBA to create a new membership procedure and to discuss how to make the meetings more meaningful and worthwhile for members.
The next AWBA meeting will be held in Adelaide in September.