Murray Darling Commission wants free trade


Developing and implementing open, barrier-free markets for water trading in the southern connected Murray-Darling Basin, consistent with the National Water Initiative, was a key task.

Trade principles: "Building upon the success of the MDBC pilot interstate water trading project, which commenced in 1998, state jurisdictions have been committed to expanding interstate entitlement trade and have spent considerable time and resources in developing the necessary principles to enable trade to be fully realised," according to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission Annual Report 2006-2007 (29/9/2007). "Since 1 July 2006, interstate water trade has been implemented in accordance with Schedule E as follows:


  • allocation trade between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and entitlement exchange rate trade between Victoria and South Australia;


  • Ministerial Council determined in May 2007 that tagged transfers will commence 1 July 2007 while allowing exchange rate trade to continue;


  • tagged transfer protocols were approved by the Commission in April 2007 to enable implementation of tagged entitlement transfers.

Legal basis for trade: "The protocols included tagging entitlements for extraction in another state, and adjusting valley accounts and state transfer accounts. The revised Schedule E to the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement and its supporting protocols provides for expanded interstate water trade with a strong legal basis in which transfers can be consistently implemented across the jurisdictions. The Commission approved a Schedule E protocol in December 2006, Processing interstate transfers of water allocations (temporary transfers), to ensure that interstate temporary transfers were processed in a consistent manner and that state accounts are reconcilable. During 2006/07 the Commission considered and approved amendments to the following Schedule E exchange rate entitlement protocols: calculating Cap adjustments, processing interstate exchange rate transfers, and restricting transfers between trading zones," the report added.

Reference: Murray-Darling Basin Commission Annual Report 2006-2007.

Erisk Net, 29/09/2007

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