Have your say on water market transparency
Do you think there should be more transparency in the water market?
I know the answer most would give.
In 2020 there were two Water Transparency Bills introduced into the NSW Parliament, neither got up.
One was introduced by Helen Dalton, the Member for Murray. It sought transparency for everyone. The main focus though was on entities, some not even involved in agriculture, trading or holding significant amounts of water who could distort markets and drive up prices for everyone else. Through her own Bill, Helen's activity would be out in the open, like anyone else.
The Government Bill just looked at NSW Members of Parliament. As far as we can tell, only one Member would be affected by it, my colleague Helen Dalton. It would not have shone a light on the traders who have a vested interest in high prices and water scarcity.
Government and some industry groups raised concerns about privacy and farm invasion. Any legitimate concerns could have been easily addressed - But they did not seek to modify the bill to cover off these concerns. There was no attempt at negotiation, no suggested amendments. An opportunity to make water trading, speculation, and ownership even a little more transparent was voted down. Foreign owners, water speculators and major corporate agriculture and their dealings with water in NSW remains hard to see.