Water policy adjournment

Mr O'Sullivan— My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Water, and the action I am seeking is for the minister to inform irrigators in northern Victoria when the review of delivery shares will be complete to provide some certainty for those irrigators, because they certainly do need that certainty to operate their businesses. As we know, Labor unbundled water in 2007, and that is essentially when the ownership of water and land were able to be separated where once they were connected by law. It is 10 years since that unbundling process occurred. It is now time for a review of that scenario, particularly the delivery shares and the cost of delivery shares in Victoria, because we need to ensure that it is fair and equitable for all people who are involved with the water, whether they be irrigators, the environment or the communities.

Much has changed since that time, particularly around the ownership and entitlement framework in relation to water. We all know the impact that the Murray-Darling Basin plan has had since its inception a few years ago and the ongoing challenges we have in relation to that. It is now time for the minister to publicly come out and inform irrigators when that review of the delivery shares will be undertaken, because the coalition have recently announced that we will be having a review if we get back into government, and we expect that to happen on 24 November this year. The shadow Minister for Water, Steph Ryan in the Assembly, has come out and said that we need to undertake this review, and we certainly will do that.

There are significant concerns that the delivery shares are acting as a handbrake in regional communities which have lost water as a result of the Murray-Darling Basin plan and particularly as a result of the unbundling of water from landownership. Some believe that the current storage costs are unfairly favouring traders, as well as the bulk entitlement environmental water holders, over actual irrigators. If the coalition is elected in November, it will be undertaking a review of the pricing framework to ensure that storage and delivery charges being applied by northern Victoria's rural water authorities are fair for everyone.

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