Some of Victoria’s water trading rules are changing from 1 July 2014.
The Victorian Parliament has amended Victoria's Water Act 1989 and the Minister for Water has amended the Trading Rules for Declared Systems.
This puts Chapter 12 of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan into action in line with agreements signed in 2013 by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.
From 1 July 2014 -
These changes are happening so that Victoria can meet its obligations under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. They are also part of continuing efforts to make water transactions easier and cheaper for irrigators and entitlement holders.
The changes will apply in northern and southern Victoria from 1 July 2014.
What do these changes mean?
For most people, the changes will not be noticeable, and most of the rules stay as they are. The changes will have no effect unless someone is doing a trade, and even then, most things are not changing.
Freeing up the rules for buying allocation means that
• anyone can buy water allocation without a limit on the amount
• people can easily apply for a new allocation account online or by filling in a form and there is no fee.
Fixed holders of allocation accounts means that
• the holders of an allocation account will be fixed, and not change when water shares are linked to the account or removed from it
• there will be more flexibility to link a water share to an allocation account held by other people
• the fee for an application to link a water share to an allocation account will be $80, which is a reduction on the current fee in some cases.
• a limited term transfer may now be given to a person who does not own or occupy land.
Seller must state the agreed price means that
• the application form must have the ‘consideration’ box filled in - this is not a big change because prices are already required on application forms.
• it’s now a legal obligation under the Basin Plan for the seller to provide the true agreed price.
Updated forms mean that
• you need to use the new forms for applications submitted after 1 July 2014
• however if you submit an old form during July, the water corporation will process it but may need extra information or confirmation• the new forms will be available from the Water Register website from 4 July 2014.
Removing the 4% limit means that
• there will not be any ballots at the start of the water year in northern Victoria