The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) agricultural commissioner Mick Keogh is applauding a Victorian review into Goulburn-Murray River water trades, calling it a very careful and considered approach. The review addresses concern that water deliveries from the Goulburn to the Murray system caused significant environmental damage to the lower Goulburn River between 2017 and 2019. Keogh said carryover rules, intervalley transfers, conveyancing and storage losses were all areas that had a potential impact on the water market, with focus and determination needed to address these issues.
The ACCC Water Markets Inquiry found the $1.5bn a year Murray-Darling Basin market needed major changes if water users and the economy are to benefit from open, fair and efficient water trading. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is proposing changes to operating and trade rules to mitigate against unacceptable impacts of water trade, supporting the ACCC’s recommendations.