Water

Sheed calls for a review into carryover rules

By Country News

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has called on Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville to initiate a review into the rules surrounding carryover in the water market in northern Victoria.

Ms Sheed said the review would include an assessment of the current spill rules and the unaccounted 1000 Gl flowing to South Australia annually.

“Carryover was introduced into the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in 2007,” she said.

"It was initially limited to 30 per cent carryover, and indeed there remained a limit on trade out of the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District at that time.

“The roll-out of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and water trading policies are some of the fundamental changes that have occurred.

"Speculators have entered the market and there are many water traders who no longer own land, and the impact of this on the availability and price of water in the GMID cannot be overlooked."

Ms Sheed said the Murray-Darling Basin Plan had led to an increase in flows of water to South Australia and a review needed to occur to protect irrigators.

“The recent report from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, entitled Transition Period Water Take Report 2017-18, identifies that over the last nine years irrigators in the southern connected basin have used on average 1200 Gl less than the cap allows,” she said.

“The monumental fact arising out of this now tested and documented information from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is that there is simply no need now to recover the additional 450 Gl of water.

"Recognition of this water will also mean that any shortfall on sustainable diversion limit projects will be taken care of."