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    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    FIRST INTERSTATE TRADING OF WATER BETWEEN QLD AND NSW

    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Monday, July 02, 2007

    FIRST INTERSTATE TRADING OF WATER BETWEEN QLD AND NSW

    Queensland and NSW will be allowed to trade water for the first time after an amendment to the Border Rivers water resource plan, Water Minister Craig Wallace said today.

    Mr Wallace said the change provided an opportunity for both Queensland and NSW farmers to make better, more efficient use of their water allocations.

    Queensland irrigators will be able to either sell or lease all or part of their allocation in either Queensland or NSW.

    Queensland irrigators also will be to enter the market in NSW to buy more water if they are looking to expand their production, and vice versa.

    Queensland expects to have interstate water trading along the whole border with NSW west of Warwick by September.

    “We are removing state barriers to water trading, as required under the National Water Initiative,” Mr Wallace said.

    “Water does not obey state boundaries and nor should the efficient trade in water,” he said.

    “The amendment will not change the original water resource plan’s aim to ensure there are sufficient flows to maintain the environmental health of all these river systems.”

    The Border Rivers water resource plan area covers the Queensland catchments of the Severn, Dumaresq, Macintyre, Weir, and Barwon rivers and their tributaries. It is an area along the Queensland-NSW border from just south of Stanthorpe west to Mungindi.

    As well as trading across the border, Queensland irrigators can also now trade water allocations along the entire Queensland side of the Border Rivers.

    While NSW irrigators could trade along the whole length of the system, Queensland irrigators were previously restricted to trading only in certain zones of the relevant river.

    To facilitate interstate trading, Queensland and NSW had to develop agreed arrangements, processes and registration systems to ensure compatibility of the two state jurisdictions.

    “These changes allow for a consistent approach to interstate trading between Queensland and New South Wales.”

    Mr Wallace said the draft amendment was released late last year for public comment and had been supported by the community and major stakeholders in the plan area.

    The Border Rivers draft resource operations plan (ROP) was released this year for public comment and is expected to be finalised before the end of 2007.

    Mr Wallace said the draft ROP would allow many existing entitlements to be converted to tradable water allocations.

    “Water-allocation holders will be able to buy, sell or lease water within the rules specified in the draft resource operations plan to best fit their own farming plans and future aspirations,” he said.

    More information is available at www.nrw.qld.gov.au/wrp/border or by calling the department on (07) 4688 1012.

    Media contact: Paul Childs, Craig Wallace’s office, on 0407 131 654 or Caroline Kaurila on 0414 213 954.