Water coming on to the market should be reserved for purchase only by irrigators, says Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan.
Last week the Victorian Government announced 14GL of surplus Connections savings water and 10GL of surplus environmental water would be put into the market in small bundles between late March and June.
“In these extremely dry and tough times, this water should be made available only to farmers who have delivery shares,” Ms Ryan said.
“Speculators and traders shouldn’t be allowed to buy this water.
“It will be of little help to struggling farmers if it’s gobbled up by investors.
“Northern Victoria’s irrigators are in dire straits right now.
“Despite full allocations, people have been locked out of the water market by traders and speculators.
“Instead of putting this water on the open market, the State Government must do things differently to make sure it goes directly to farmers.
“That should include placing restrictions around who can purchase this additional water.
“Our irrigation communities contribute so much to Victoria’s economy and they should get nothing less than full support of the Andrews Government in these severely difficult times.”