Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Carryover water rules delayed for Murray system

The VFF has welcomed the postponement of new carryover cap rules.

January 2, 2013 4:05am

VFF Water Council chair Richard Anderson says farmers will be pleased with the Victorian Government’s decision to extend the start date of new carryover cap rules for the Victorian Murray irrigation system.

Mr Anderson described the announcement of the longer transition period for Murray system carryover rules by Water Minister Peter Walsh as ‘‘a welcome relief for irrigators’’.

For the Murray system, the change to the start date means irrigators have 18 months to make decisions on how best to manage the volumes of water they have in their spillable water accounts.

‘‘The VFF sought an extension to the starting date for the cap on carryover for all systems to provide irrigators with more time to manage their carryover volumes,’’ Mr Anderson said.

‘‘We are pleased the minister has listened to the concerns of Victorian Murray irrigators.’’

The cap on the volume of carryover at 100 per cent of entitlement volume will not begin until the 2014 water year for Murray irrigators, which is an extension of 12 months.

‘‘The decision gives Murray system irrigators an extra 12 months to make business decisions to manage the volumes of water that are currently held in spillable water accounts,’’ Mr Anderson said.

‘‘While we are disappointed this announcement only changes the start date on the Murray system, a declaration of low spill has already been made on the Goulburn system. Irrigators on the Goulburn system now have access to any water which was held over in their spillable water accounts.

‘‘The Murray system is still waiting on a declaration of low spill to be announced. If this doesn’t occur until late in the season, irrigators will have very little opportunity to use or sell their water currently held in spillable accounts.’’

Currently, 1027087Ml of water is being held in spill accounts of the Murray system.

‘‘Without the 12-month extension, the risk of losing a large percentage of this water by not being able to use or trade it would have been high,’’ Mr Anderson said.

The introduction of the cap on carryover for the Goulburn system and changes to other management rules will occur by June 30, 2013 as previously announced by the minister.

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