The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement that tagged water accounts will be subject to the Inter-Valley Trade (IVT) rules from 12 December.
Last week the VFF called on Minister for Water Lisa Neville to announce a date that tagged water accounts would be subject to the IVT rule to ensure irrigators could operate their business with certainty.
VFF Water Council Chairman Richard Anderson said the Government’s action is good news for farmers and the environment.
“We are pleased the Government has listened to the VFF and we now have a date so everyone knows where they stand.”
“Not having a date was creating unease among irrigators, so we are pleased the Government has responded to the advocacy efforts of the VFF”, Mr Anderson said.
From 12 December, irrigators wanting to tag water from their Goulburn account to use in the Murray will now be subject to the IVT rule.
The Government’s interim operating regime will now see the volume of traded water from the Goulburn to the Murray limited to 50 gigalitres per month.
Murray irrigators who also owned Goulburn entitlement had been able to ‘tag’ their Goulburn water into their Murray account for use in the Murray system. This tagged Goulburn water was not counted against the IVT rule, limiting how much water can leave the Goulburn River to the Murray.
Mr Anderson said unseasonably high flows are causing damage on the Goulburn River, impacting vegetation, habitat and river banks.
“Ensuring tagged accounts have to abide by the IVT limit ensures the environment is protected”, Mr Anderson said.