DRIVING DOWN WATER PRICES IN THE PEEL VALLEY
The NSW Government has commenced a one year trial of temporary water trading that will place downward pressure on water prices for Peel Valley irrigators and Tamworth residents receive, Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water Kevin Humphries and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson announced today.
Mr Humphries said the NSW Government has implemented the trial following the ACCC’s recent bulk water pricing determination signalled a series of price increases over the coming years.
“The NSW Government viewed the ACCC’s recommendation to limit price rises for Peel Valley users to a maximum of 10 per cent per annum as an unacceptable solution that would further increase pressures on Peel Valley water users,” Mr Humphries said.
“The ACCC’s solution would deliver Peel Valley users five years of price increases; our equitable and sustainable solution will reverse this trend enable a decrease in prices over time.
“The NSW Government will facilitate this downward price trend by delivering a market-based solution that allows temporary trades between the Peel and Namoi valleys to occur for one year, with the option to extend to two years.
“By increasing options for Peel users to trade their water and generate income, and by making more of the allocated water available for production in the Namoi Valley, this trial is a very good result for irrigators in both valleys and for the people of Tamworth.
“This decision is the result of the strong advocacy of the Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson on behalf of his community.”
Mr Anderson said the announcement addresses a core cost of living issue in the Tamworth electorate.
“The NSW Government has listened to local residents, irrigators and the business community and moved towards a system that will ensure a more equitable and sensible approach to water regulation in the Peel and Namoi Valleys,” Mr Anderson said.
“It is completely unacceptable that people in Tamworth pay nearly twice as much for water as people in Gunnedah. This solution will ensure Peel Valley irrigators and Tamworth residents put on a price path that will trend down over time, not the other way.
“Together with our investment into expanding Chaffey Dam, the NSW Government is ensuring we secure the region’s water supply and provide cheap and reliable water to residents across the Tamworth electorate.”
A factsheet outlining the trade rules is available from the website of the NSW Office of Water at www.water.nsw.gov.au.