Media Release

Water tender reflects sound Murray–Darling management

23 October 2015

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) is selling 20 gigalitres of water excess to environmental needs through a competitive tender process.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the announcement and said the decision to trade was based on sound management of environmental water resources in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Water is a precious resource and water saved is like money in the bank,” Minister Joyce said.

“Good water management means that we can invest wisely in the future of agriculture, communities and the environment—to guarantee the future of the basin all three must thrive.

“Through the Murray Darling Basin Plan, we have now acquired over 1956 gigalitres (long term average annual yield) for the environment through best practice management and investment in efficient infrastructure.

“This tender process for 20 gigalitres of water holdings in the Goulburn river catchment area will allow bids for parcels as small as 30 megalitres, which will give small irrigators the opportunity to access much needed water. 

“Goulburn valley farmers are currently experiencing very dry conditions, and this is the right time to ensure they have access to extra water to finish out this season’s cropping activity.”

The tender is open to allocation entitlement holders across the southern connected basin where allocations sold from the Goulburn catchment can currently be traded. 

The decision to sell this water is made independently by CEWH as part of their role planning, managing and monitoring a large portfolio of water for the benefit of the environment. 

CEWH has previously completed two allocation sales: the Peel regulated allocation sale in March 2014, and the Gwydir regulated allocation sale in January 2014. The Gwydir sale resulted in the sale of 10 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water in the Gwydir for a return of $3.217 million for the Murray Darling environment.

The Southern Murray-Darling Basin tender will open at 10am on Monday 26 October 2015 and will close at 3.00 pm on Wednesday 28 October 2015 (AEDT).

Full details are available on the Department of Environment website: http://www.environment.gov.au/water/cewo/trade/current-trading-actions​.