Water trading rules changed

     
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Trading rules for the pumped irrigation districts in the Sunraysia region have been changed.

Changes in the trading rules for the pumped irrigation districts in the Sunraysia region will give local irrigators more opportunities to sell water.

Water Minister Tim Holding said districts that had already reached the four per cent limit on permanent trade of water outside the area have been grouped with a district that has not yet reached the limit.

Water share trading out of the Robinvale, Redcliffs and Merbein group of irrigation districts has been restricted since September last year when the four per cent limit was reached.

However, about one billion litres is still available for trading out of the Mildura District.

Mr Holding said by changing the trading rules, irrigators in Robinvale, Redcliffs and Merbein will be able to share in the space available under the Mildura District limit.

"More farmers in the Robinvale, Redcliffs and Merbein districts will now be able to enter the water market," Mr Holding said

"This may also free up water for purchase as part of the Australian Government's buyback program to return water to the Murray River for the benefit of the environment."

He said Victoria had maintained a four per cent limit on permanent water trade out of irrigation areas since 2002 to help communities adjust over time to the social and economic impacts of large volumes of water leaving irrigation areas.

Victoria has agreed to phase out the four per cent cap from 2011 depending on a review of the irrigation modernisation program.

Lower Murray Water will hold a ballot for irrigators applying to sell their water shares under the changed trading rules, which came in to effect late January.

 

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