Irrigators to have a say on carryover rules under Liberal Nationals

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy (right) with Max Wright and Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan.

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Local irrigators and communities will have an opportunity to have their say on whether carryover water rules are working in the best interests of all water users, under an elected Liberal Nationals Government.

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said carryover rules allow water entitlement holders to take unused water allocations from one season into the next, with the carryover water available for their own use or to trade.

Mr McCurdy, who visited orchardist Max Wright at his Invergordon farm today for the announcement, said the review would look into whether current carryover rules on the Goulburn, Murray and Campaspe systems could better reflect the way our water use, storage and trade has changed in the past decade.

“The Liberal Nationals’ review will be a chance for everyone to have their say, including our irrigators, other water users and our communities,” Mr McCurdy said.

“It’s more than a decade since carryover rules were introduced, so it’s timely to review the rules and ensure they’re still meeting the needs of local water users.”

The review will examine whether carryover has increased the frequency of spills from northern Victoria’s water storages and, if so, seek to quantify what benefit that has to the environment.

It will also seek to identify whether carryover has reduced entitlement allocations of either high or low reliability water through increased spills. The committee will include irrigator representation.

Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan said Labor had put the issue in the too hard basket and failed to give irrigators and communities a chance to have their say.

“Carryover was introduced at the height of the drought in 2007 to help manage risk. Since then the way we use, trade and store water has changed a lot and we need to make sure the rules accurately reflect that change,” Ms Ryan said.

“A Liberal Nationals Government will review carryover rules to make sure we have a system that’s fair and equitable for our irrigators, the environment and other water users.”


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