A new office for water brokers, Waterfind, has been opened in Mildura today.

“Water brokers play an important role in developing water markets by bringing buyers and sellers together. As a large and innovative broker, Waterfind is an asset to the community of Mildura and water trading in the region,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.

“Water markets have been critical in helping farmers and others manage marked reductions in water availability during the most recent, prolonged drought,” he said.

During the millennium drought the proportion of water allocations traded in the Southern Murray-Darling increased from 5 per cent to over 30 per cent in just six years. This benefited buyers and sellers of water. Long term investments were able to be maintained by buyers of water, while sellers were able to convert annual allocations into income. 

“Water markets are contributing to maximising economic productivity in Mildura and the Basin more broadly. In 2013-14 the value of trade in Australian water markets was $1.4 billion,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Water trading and efficient water markets play an important role in broader Murray-Darling Basin reform, facilitating the efficient and sustainable use of water.

“The Australian Government is committed to implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full and on time.

“We have already recovered over two thirds of the surface water required to bridge the gap to the sustainable diversion limits and, over the next four years, more than $2.3 billion in Australian Government funding is forecast to be spent on rural infrastructure projects. 

“Community support for infrastructure programs is strong. Projects already completed, including some in Mildura, have demonstrated improved productivity benefits such as increased crop rotation, increased water use efficiencies, improved soil management, reduced maintenance and reduced weed control requirements,” he said.

The Australian Government is committed to working with all jurisdictions, industries and communities that have a role in the sustainable management of our water resources.