National Farmers' Federation

NFF welcomes water market reform advisory group

The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the appointment of eight members to the Advisory Group on water markets in the Murray-Darling Basin.

“The NFF is pleased to see the Group has a well-balanced mix of stakeholder representatives, technical experts, and especially, water users. We also support the appointment of Mr Daryl Quinlivan as principal adviser on the Advisory Group,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

“Water trading is a critically important tool to manage resources in the Murray-Darling which is worth more than $1.8 billion annually. Water users provide practical, real-world experience to ensure any outcomes that are delivered work for farmers on the ground.

“The NFF wrote to Resources and Water Minister, Keith Pitt, in May this year to ensure water users played a central role in the Advisory Group and we are pleased that they are well-represented on the Advisory Group,” Mr Mahar said.

In March this year, the ACCC published their final inquiry report into the Murray-Darling Basin water markets. The report highlighted that there are significant problems within the water market that are undermining the trust of farmers and the integrity of the water.

“The ACCC has found that the market lacks accessible quality information, there are few rules governing how market participants should behave, and it does not adequately protect against market manipulation. The current market rules could better reflect the physical constraints of water systems.

“However, the NFF is cautious of proposals to create new agencies and more regulation that might impose further costs for farmers. Reform must happen, but it must be done properly to support farmers on the ground in Basin communities,” Mr Mahar said.

The NFF notes that over 40 reports into the Murray-Darling Basin have now been released. Governments must focus on implementing important recommendations to improve the Basin and we look forward to working with the Government to improve outcomes for our farmers and Basin communities.

Add comment