Victoria's trading rules exist in a number of documents, as listed below. Each document is in a compiled form, including any revisions made to the original of the document.

Declared systems (water share and allocation trade)

Water share trade and allocation trade in Victoria is governed by rules set by the Minister for Water. The trading rules aim to facilitate trade wherever possible, while minimising negative impacts on other users and the environment.

A copy of the consolidated trading rules for declared water systems is available below, along with a map that shows the trading zones and summarises trading capability between zones for Victorian regulated water systems. 

These rules were changed on 1 July 2014 so that Victoria can meet its obligations under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Read more.

On 12 December 2019, new rules come into effect to restrict water use from tagged accounts when related allocation trade limits have been reached. These new rules clearly translate the intent of Basin Plan trading rules into the Victorian framework.

Restrictions on tagged use will only apply when allocation trade is also closed.

These restrictions are made through interim regulations and an associated Ministerial Determination. The Determination defines which allocation trading rules apply and any relevant exemptions. Copies of the interim regulations, the Ministerial Determination and Frequently Asked Questions on these new rules are available below.

The interim regulations apply until 30 November 2020 while a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and associated public consultation is completed in 2020, and an enduring set of regulations are put in place.

Non-declared systems

Trading of take and use licence is managed by the relevant rural water corporations in accordance with the Ministerial Policies for Managing Take and Use Licences. Prior to deciding to approve a permanent or temporary transfer of a take and use licence, the water corporation must have regard to a number of matters including any adverse impacts on other water users.

There are also some local trading rules made by the relevant rural water corporation, as follows:

While the Coliban Water rural system is closed to external trade, trading within the system is tightly regulated. Information about Coliban Water's Rural Water Trading Rules is directly available from their website coliban.com.au.

Goulburn-Murray Water has trading rules for some groundwater licences. We would suggest that licence holders go to g-mwater.com.au in the first instance.

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water has trading rules specific to groundwater licences in their management plans. These can be found at GWMWater - How to trade groundwater.

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water has also made some trading rules for the water allowances held by its pipeline customers. These are on the application forms which can be found at: GWMWater - changing and trading water allowances.

Southern Rural Water has made some trading rules for groundwater and surface water outside the Murray Darling Basin. For more information, go to: Southern Rural Water - water auctions and trading.

ACCC Guides on Fair Trading

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released three guides to help irrigators and water brokers and exchanges understand their rights and responsibilities under federal, state and territory trading laws.

The guides include tips on how to select a broker and what to keep in mind when arranging a trade. They are available on the internet at www.accc.gov.au or by contacting the ACCC’s Infocentre on 1300 302 502.