Delivery share changes imminent for irrigators

By Country News

The Victorian Government is proposing changes to delivery shares for northern Victorian irrigators and farmers are being asked for feedback.

A review has issued draft recommendations, which include loosening up the shares so irrigators can sell them in seasons they don’t irrigate and buying more in peak seasons.

The cost of selling delivery shares has been an ongoing issue in the modernisation of northern Victoria’s food bowl.

The government is promising consultations in Shepparton and Kerang this week.

The preliminary report has rejected options of resizing current delivery shares by reducing the rate of water delivery in megalitres per day, reallocation of delivery shares and creating an amnesty period for unwanted delivery shares.

The review will consider reduced water availability for irrigation, fluctuation in water prices and changes in demand for water. It will also consider the impact of climate change with predictions of a hotter, drier climate with lower inflows, longer droughts, less rainfall in the cool season and dams harvesting lower volumes of water.

‘‘This delivery share review will assess the best options for irrigators in northern Victoria for a fair outcome the community can get behind,’’ Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville said.

‘‘Engagement with landowners and the broader community is an important part of this review — ensuring we keep people informed every step of the way.’’

Community consultations will be held in Kerang at the Goulburn-Murray Water offices on Thursday, August 2 from 6.30pm; and in Shepparton at the Quality Hotel Parklake from 11am on Friday, August 3.

■For more information or to register, visit: engage.vic.gov.au/delivery-share-review