The Minister for Water has approved changes to the trading rules to suspend some allocation trade in order to protect next season’s allocations to Victorian water entitlement holders on the Murray system.

The temporary suspension begins immediately for trade of water allocation -

  • from New South Wales to Victoria, and
  • from the Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems to the Victorian River Murray system, or to interstate.

The suspensions of trade will be in place until 1 July 2011, but may need to be reinstated in certain circumstances.

High Murray-Darling Basin storage levels, huge volumes of unused irrigation water and Victoria’s progressive carryover rules have converged to create exceptional challenges for managing the impacts of allocation trade. This temporary suspension is required because these trades are increasing the obligation to deliver water to users on the Murray but are not supplying a matching volume of additional water. The reasons for this are:

  • Trade from NSW. Under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement accounting rules, any trade from NSW to Victoria immediately transfers water to Victoria’s account in Hume Dam. But when Victoria’s share of Hume is full – as it is now - Victoria cannot store the water and does not gain any water to support the trade.
  • Trade from Goulburn, Campaspe or Loddon. If there was a spill from Lake Eildon in the new season, it would wipe out some or all of the water to be supplied to the Murray or interstate.

Victoria is a strong supporter of trade and regrets the necessity to put these suspensions in place. But it is unfair to allow trade if it is done at the expense of Victorian Murray entitlement holders.

A copy of the Minister for Water's media release is available below. Note that while the Minister's announcement was made on Wednesday 13 April 2011, the suspension actually came into effect when it was gazetted on Monday 11 April 2011.

pdfWalsh - Victoria suspends some water allocation trade 13April2011(PDF - 34 Kb)

The site has been reorganised, with a new menu system to help you find what you're looking for faster.

  • You can now download copies of individual water-use licences, delivery shares, take-and-use licences, and works licences, here.
  • New reports are available in the Water trading section, showing graphical trading history for water share transfers and allocation trades.
  • Information on unregulated surface water and groundwater systems, including restrictions on entitlements currently in place, is available here.

A report on water trade in Victoria in 2009/10 is now available here.