The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) is currently working to ensure members clearly understand the current position of General Security allocations and is exploring opportunities to gain access to additional water for members.
RGA President, Jeremy Morton, said
“In the Murray Valley a number of members have approached the RGA seeking information as to when we will likely see a general security allocation. The RGA has been working with Department of Industry Water to make sure that yesterday’s allocation statement clearly articulated the current commitments that must be met before the General Security water users will receive an allocation.”
In particular, yesterday’s NSW Murray allocation statement provided the following:
“future inflows will accrue as a priority to a shortfall in conveyance and environmental commitments, and then to general security entitlements. The current shortfall in Conveyance allocation is 105 GL and for environmental water it is 60 GL.”
Based on this statement, an additional 165 gigalitres of inflows must be accounted for before NSW Murray General Security water users will receive an allocation.
The RGA is seeking to defer the accrual of the 60 gigalitres to environmental water accounts to allow General Security allocation to build.
For the Murrumbidgee Valley, we note that members have to date received a small General Security allocation of 6%.
“RGA continues to investigate all possible opportunities for access to other parcels of water” said Mr. Morton “We therefore support our Federal Member, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP’s endeavours to secure a parcel of environmental water for irrigators’.
The RGA has previously written to the Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee seeking that all or part of the available rules based environmental water be made available to irrigators. We understand that the Committee’s response to this request will be released shortly.
The RGA has also been in contact with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and Snowy Hydro Limited to seek opportunities for access to their respective water holdings without success. The RGA understands that Murray Irrigation and Southern Riverina Irrigators’ have also made similar approaches to these respective government agencies.
“All our rice grower members run mixed farming enterprises, and it is in their interests that we continue to pursue every possible avenue for accessing water” said Mr. Morton “We will continue to keep members updated as further information comes to light.”