The Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, has announced that interim regulations restricting tagged water use in line with trade are to be made enduring, to keep a level playing field for all types of trade and help protect the health of the lower Goulburn River. This decision comes after extensive community consultation on the Goulburn to Murray trade review regulatory impact statement and builds on the work done to date to keep the amount that can be traded in line with what can sustainably be delivered. Read more about the Minister’s decision here.

Subject to final regulatory approval from Executive Council, the enduring regulations will commence on 30 November 2021 and will be in place for 10 years. The enduring regulations and supporting material will be made available on the trading rules webpage.

During consultation earlier this year, stakeholders were united on the need for the Government to make the interim restrictions on tagged water use permanent ahead of their expiry at the end of November 2021.
These restrictions continue to bring all types of inter-valley trade (IVT) under the same rules, protecting the lower Goulburn from large volumes of water flowing through tagged accounts when allocation trade is not possible.

An exemption from restrictions on tagged use will continue for the Lower Broken Creek while we work to design fair tagging rules that provide certainty year-round for local water users.

The decision to continue to restrict tagged water use over the long-term has been made independently of the decision on long-term trade and operating rules, with interim rules in place through 2021-2022.

More information on delivery of Goulburn IVT water released

The first low flow period has now begun under the interim operating rules for the lower Goulburn River. During this time river operators will aim to achieve flows that do not exceed an average 1,100 ML per day over six weeks – lower than any flows seen in recent years. This will allow the bank a more natural period of drying ahead of delivering the first higher fresh, which is expected over a fourteen-day period in December, peaking at up to 3,000 ML per day for three to four days in mid-December. Regulated flows are expected to be returned to 1,100 ML per day by Christmas.

DELWP has now released the Operating Plan for Delivery of Water from the Goulburn IVT Account 2021–22.

The operating plan sets out procedures for determining how water in the Goulburn IVT Account will be delivered to the Murray River in 2021-22 in accordance with the interim trade and operating rules in place this year.

Publishing the plan will support water users, market participants, brokers, environmental water holders and river managers to have transparent conversations about delivery of Goulburn IVT and manage their operations accordingly.

Find out more about the planned deliveries and deferrals of water from the Goulburn IVT account on Goulburn-Murray Water's website. On 4 November Goulburn-Murray Water updated this website to advise that up to 33 GL may be deferred in November.  Deliveries and deferrals prior to 15 December 2021 will be posted into the Victorian Water Register each Wednesday morning, and will increase opportunity to trade water from the Goulburn to the Murray system.  Up to date information about the current trade opportunity can be accessed here.

Summer/autumn trade cap to commence in December

Under the interim trade rule, from 15 December onwards further net trade will be capped. As the seasonal determinations have already reached 100% in the Goulburn, further trade opportunity from 15 December will be limited to any trade opportunity not already taken up under the 190 GL IVT limit and any new trade opportunity arising from back-trade into the Goulburn.