Victoria watching water deals
Victoria is tightening access to water from the Murray River, and wants other states to do the same.
The Government has announced that all licence applications for the lower Murray region, below the NSW border town of Barmah, must be assessed by Water Minister Lisa Neville.
“No new licences for extraction will be issued or limit increases granted unless it can be shown that there will be no increased risks to the environment or entitlement holders,” Ms Neville said in a statement this week.
The measure has been imposed until updated modelling from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is available next year.
Ms Neville has asked her NSW and South Australian counterparts to take similar measures.
“We have to make sure the risks to the environment and Victorian entitlement holders don't increase due to more extractions. That's why I will personally review all licence applications for the next year,” she said.
“This action is part of a co-ordinated push to improve water markets and trade rules in Victoria, including making sure inter-valley trade settings in the Goulburn are appropriate and protect the environment.”
Increased demand for water downstream has eroded important waterways including the Goulburn River and a narrow stretch of the Murray, the Barmah Choke, Ms Neville said.