New options paper into water market transparency released

By Rodney Woods

The Victorian irrigation community is being asked to consider how the current water markets can be made more transparent, in a new options paper released on September 26.

Water Minister Lisa Neville announced in May that the Victorian Government would look at the options and benefits of a completely transparent water trading system.

This follows continued high water prices and concern from the community about the level of foreign ownership when it comes to Victorian water.

“We’re listening to Victorian irrigators, who have been calling (for) more transparency in our water markets,” she said.

“We need to balance greater transparency with an appropriate level of protection for irrigators’ commercial privacy — which is why we have come up with a range of proposals for the community to consider.”

To ensure all benefits and impacts are being considered, an options paper has been developed in consultation with farmers and other water market participants — reflecting the range of views held by the community.

The proposed options address the main concerns raised in targeted community consultation and could be introduced individually, or as a combination.

The options are:

  • Full market transparency — including names, addresses and trade details;
  •  Publish information only on large water market participants or high-volume traders;
  • Improve real-time information on price and amount of water available.

State-wide consultation on the options paper will run until November 8, with Ms Neville to decide on a way forward by the end of the year.

To provide feedback, visit: www.engage.vic.gov.au