Opinion

Impact hurts

by
February 27, 2016

Victorian Farmers Federation spokesman Richard Anderson has stated that speculators in the Victorian Water Market own less than five per cent of that water, however on our calculations Vic Super and Melbourne Water alone own more than seven per cent of our water.

What additional amounts do the SA Government, corporate entities, foreign entities and individuals own, who don’t irrigate any land with that water?

When industry experts and politicians say the amount of water held or traded by speculators is only four or five per cent it is misleading, as the details of land and water ownership are not public documents.

They also don’t wish to call certain large water owners speculators because they own some land, despite the fact a lot of this water is traded to other parties and not used on their own land.

Our guess is speculators own 25 per cent to 35 per cent of water in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.

It should also be noted that speculators are not restricted to trade only in their permanent entitlements as they can enter the temporary market, buy more water and trade this onto other parties as well.

The truth is that there is a large amount of water owned by our governments, as well as speculators, which is having a huge and detrimental impact on the viability of our real irrigators and their communities.

The myth that everything is fine and dandy with water policy comes from people with vested interests wanting water to remain a tradeable commodity.

When people stand up in the public domain and talk about issues on water policy, it pays to ask them how much water they or their families own to determine if they have any bias.

By the way, I own only 22megalitres of water, which I use on my farm.

Submitted by Robert Danieli, spokesman for Goulburn Valley Irrigators and communities, Kyabram

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