Trader wants market reform

By Country News

The time has come for more reform to the water market to increase transparency and improve its efficiency.

That was what water trader Waterfind policy manager Stuart Peevor told the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences Regional Outlook conference in Shepparton on Wednesday, October 10.

Mr Peevor talked up the Australian irrigation system, but said more work needed to be done to improve the system.

Top of his list was greater transparency regarding water trade restrictions, improved administration processes and a greater understanding of the time permanent trades would take.

With trade restrictions by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder when watering events take place, Mr Peevor said irrigators needed more warning and awareness.

‘‘We would want to see more transparency of the movement of water; there would be quick wins if this was signalled to the market earlier,’’ he said.

‘‘Registers don’t necessarily speak to each other (about whether trading is still open) so these things do creep up on us literally overnight.’’

There were also calls for a new National Water Initiative, a simplifying of complex trading rules and language and the implementation of a public water registry.

‘‘There’s too many that involve needing original forms or hand-delivered forms,’’ Mr Peevor said.

Having stepped away from the industry for a number of years, Mr Peevor said what he found on his return shocked him.

‘‘I’m surprised to see we’re still having the same conversations we were 11 years ago,’’ he said.