High inflows justify a 1 June General Security allocation


The NSW Government should announce an allocation for NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee General Security entitlement holders on 1 June.

Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) president, Rob Massina said “The RGA has written to the NSW Minister for Water, the Hon. Melinda Pavey, MP calling for a 1 June allocation announcement.”

Since the last allocation on 15 May, 297 gigalitres (GL) have flowed into Murray River storages, according to RGA calculations based on publicly available information.

Assuming inflows continue to 31 May, the total is expected to be at least 380 GL. At the same time, assumed tributary inflows have reduced river losses, reducing the need to reserve as much in storage for this purpose.

Based on State sharing arrangements, RGA estimates a 125 GL improvement in the share of NSW Murray storages, equivalent to at least a 6% NSW Murray General Security allocation increase.

While a 1 June allocation has never occurred previously, the RGA understands nothing is stopping the NSW Government making the announcement.  The MDBA water year finishes on 31 May, and the NSW water year ends on 30 June. Therefore, all inflows before these dates should be allocated

“General Security entitlement holders should benefit from the recent resource improvement in the NSW Murray system, given all other commitments have now been met” said Mr Massina.

“Furthermore, this water year has been highly unusual with the largest inflows occurring late in the season. This alone should be incentive for the NSW Government to continue making allocation announcements as late as possible in the water year.”

“For NSW Murray growers, who until 15 May had been without an allocation for nearly two years, a 1 June allocation would boost confidence to see through their winter cropping programs, and start planning a much-needed rice crop to ensure Australian rice is on supermarket shelves in 2021.”

“While Murrumbidgee system inflows have not been as significant, RGA similarly urges the NSW Government to allocate any increase in resource to General Security water holders on 1 June.”

The RGA reiterates that our estimates above should not be relied upon and are simply our best attempt to calculate the opportunity for an allocation based on publicly available information.

“Should the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) not make a 1 June allocation, it needs to explain why an allocation is not justified” said Mr Massina.