LETTER: The price of water drops during a political crisis

Victorian irrigators would be about one billion dollars richer if they sold their water to the Commonwealth today rather than in 2008.

The Victorian Farmers Federation has compared the price the Commonwealth Government paid for water in 2008 as part of its water buyback scheme versus the value of the water today. The Commonwealth buyback for the basin plan coincided with the Millennium drought opportunistically buying water at distressed values when farmers were facing extreme financial hardship.

The Commonwealth must finally start to acknowledge these negative impacts.

The VFF also analysed the value of water in NSW and SA in 2008 versus the value of that water today and found NSW communities have $450 million less as a result of water buyback and the SA Basin has lost almost $280 million. 

Victoria was unfairly targeted with buyback which saw the Commonwealth spend almost $400 million more in Victoria than any other state.

The Commonwealth has just wrapped up its road show in trying to secure even more water for the additional 450GL of up water.

With less than a week to the Water Ministerial Council we are urging the Victorian Government to ensure a widened socio-economic test is adopted by the Basin States for any recovery of the 450GL. 

It is time the Federal Coalition government started to protect jobs in regional communities rather than city dwellers in Adelaide.

Richard Anderson, 

VFF Water Council chairman

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