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Locals encouraged to have their say on water markets

Submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Interim Report into water markets close on Friday, 28 August 2020 and Murray Irrigation Chairman, Phil Snowden, is urging locals to have their say.

Phil said the report, which was released on Thursday, 30 July 2020 highlighted several issues that local irrigators had raised for years, and could be the turning point for local irrigators.

“I think the ACCC’s Interim Report is great for our region. It feels like we’ve finally been heard about the lack of transparency in the current market rules and operation, the lack of equity across the Murray-Darling Basin, and the varying governance issues involved in managing river resources.

“I’d also like to congratulate the ACCC for the fact that their Report goes beyond just looking at the physical water market, but addresses factors that affect the broader market and the efficient management of the water, both productive and environmental.

“We welcome the acknowledgement that while many people have prospered through the introduction of the water market, there are many who haven’t, and that the third party impacts associated with current management rules, particularly for us in the Southern Riverina, are real.

“While we recognise that this is an interim, and not the final report, we’d like to see a holistic approach to river management and the many current inquiries that are underway, to reduce the overarching risk to our region.

“We recognise that governments will face challenges in this approach, but it’s vital to ensure that river management and operations are fair for all river users.“As it stands, some of our irrigators – the people that grow the food we eat and the fibre we wear – are disadvantaged by the water market as it currently operates,” Phil concluded.

Submissions to the ACCC’s Interim Report can be made via their website – consultation.accc.gov.au/agriculture/murray-darling-basin-inquiry-interim-report/