DELWP has been consulting with the community on water market transparency based on an options released in September at engage.vic.gov.au/water-market-transparency. We heard from a wide range of water market participants, and have consolidated what was heard into a closing the loop consultation summary report. Most people were overwhelmingly in favour of greater transparency in certain aspects of water markets with an appropriate level of protection for irrigators’ commercial privacy.

Following consultation, the Victorian Government has announced a range of actions to improve transparency including:

  • Publish a market integrity report twice a year and report anything irregular to the ACCC and other regulators;
  • Publish the names of companies who own two per cent or more of water in a system on the Victorian Water Register. The government will also pursue legal changes to report the same information for individuals with greater than two per cent;
  • Provide more transparency about the role of non-water users in the market by tracking how they use their accounts;
  • Pursue legal changes to allow publication of information about allocation accounts with more than 20 trades per year;
  • Introduce new requirements to provide more clarity on different types of trade, so it’s clear what kind of purchase or transfer has occurred and at what price;
  • List the names of water brokers who meet Government standards and auditing requirements associated with the use of Victoria’s water broker portal on the Victorian Water Register website;
  • Explore options and pilot a central trading platform to improve transparency for irrigators about the price and availability of water in real time; and
  • Provide clearer and easier to find information, including agricultural demand, redoing the Victorian Water Register Website and enhancing the Water Market Watch app.

We invite you to read the closing the loop report and take a look at the media release at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/greater-water-transparency-to-support-irrigators/