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Discussion paper - Trading of Commonwealth environmental water

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2011


Management of Commonwealth environmental water requires on-going assessment of options including whether water should be used within the current year, carried over for use in future years, or whether trade should occur (disposal or acquisition). In order to help inform the development of water trading arrangements, a discussion paper on trading Commonwealth environmental water was released for consultation between November 2011 and May 2012.

Forty three submissions were received on the discussion paper from a range of stakeholders including national and state industry groups, irrigation corporations, state government agencies, water brokers and individuals. The majority of submissions either explicitly supported or were generally in agreement with trading by Commonwealth Environmental Water Office. Most submissions indicated that the discussion paper was a positive step in developing a trading framework and welcomed the opportunity to participate in the consultation process. A summary of the submissions to the discussion paper can be found at summary of submissions to the discussion paper on trade of Commonwealth environmental water.

The next step in the process will be the public release of a position paper with our responses to the issues raised in the submissions. This will inform development of operating rules which will establish the general framework within which trade will occur.

As the process of developing trading arrangements is ongoing, we welcome feedback, both formal and informal, on trading arrangements at any stage. Feedback can be sent to:, or by mail to the following address:

Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601