Monday, 3 August 2009

Investigation into Murray Darling Water Buyback scheme

The Australian Government has requested the Productivity Commission to conduct an investigation into market based alternatives to the purchasing of water entitlements from willing sellers that could be used to restore environmental flows in the Murray Darling.

The Commission will also examine the impediments to water purchasing and how these could be overcome.

The study was part of an agreement in February with Senator Nick Xenophon relating to the Government's $42 billion Nation Building Package.

The Productivity Commission will examine a range of issues such as the pace of environmental water recovery and depth of water markets, transaction and compliance costs for both applicants and governments, impacts of Government purchasing on the water market, the implications of developing water markets and limited price information and the potential to use water exchanges or other options to facilitate water purchasing.

The potential to achieve synergies between water purchase and water use efficiency programs, the capacity to purchase a mix of entitlements with different levels of security to achieve environmental needs and the requirements of Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines are also to be examined.......

An issues paper is to be released by the Commission in mid August and submissions are requested by September 18, 2009.

A draft report will be released in early November with submissions on the report due by early December. A final report will be submitted to the Government on January 24, 2010.

[Taken from Queensland Farmers Federation weekly bulletin on 31 July 2009]

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