The ‘no regrets’ policy of previous Federal and NSW governments to water buyback in advance of finalisation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan has resulted in the over-recovery of environmental water in the Macquarie regulated river system.
The opportunity exists for water holdings to be leased or traded to the irrigation industry on a temporary or permanent basis, thus increasing the productive capacity of the region’s agricultural industry within sustainable levels.
Further, trade of government owned water provides the opportunity to generate revenue for Federal and State Governments while at the same time boosting regional productivity.
Trade of water owned by the Federal Government is currently restricted by Section 106 of the Water Act 2007.
MRFF recommends that the Water Act 2007 be amended to remove Section 106 and therefore remove the restrictions affecting trade of Federal water.