The Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin Program is an important component of the Water for the Future initiative. The Australian Government has committed $3.1 billion to the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program to purchase water for the environment.
Water buybacks obtain water for the environment from irrigators who offer their water entitlement for sale. The Australian Government is purchasing a portfolio of entitlements which best meet the environment's needs.
The water purchase tender in southern NSW has now closed for applications.
The department is currently assessing those applications received and will advise applicants of the outcome once this process is complete.
The department will publish the average price of offers pursued under this tender on its website once the process has been finalised.
Information on future tenders under the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program will be announced on the department's website.
On 13 November 2012, Water Minister Tony Burke announced three water purchasing tender rounds in the Queensland Lower Balonne.
- New water purchase rounds in the Queensland Lower Balonne – Media release 13 November 2012
The third Queensland Lower Balonne tender opened on 22 April 2013 and will close at 5.00pm AEST on 24 May 2013. This tender will be for the purchase of water harvesting entitlements including unsupplemented allocations and overland flow licences.
- For more information see: Queensland Lower Balonne Water Purchasing Tender
Note that the RFT and Application Form for this tender were modified on 13 May 2013 to explain more fully the requirements for overland flow licensed water offers.
- For more information see: Addendum 1 Queensland Lower Balonne Water Purchasing Tender
On 17 March 2013, Australian Government Water Minister Tony Burke and Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh jointly announced a new strategic water purchase initiative in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District of Victoria.
- Strategic purchase program to offer options for irrigators - Media release 17 March 2013
The new initiative aims to pursue environmental water purchase opportunities arising from the decommissioning of channels involved in the roll-out of the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project.
The initiative opened on 18 March 2013 and will close at 5 pm AEST on 21 June 2013, unless the $15 million budget has been reached before this date.
For more information see: Strategic Water Purchase Initiative – Victoria 2012-13
The Strategic Sub-System Reconfiguration in the Murray-Darling Basin program provides the opportunity for Irrigation Infrastructure Operators, in partnership with their customers, to seek financial support for projects which integrate water access entitlement purchases with the decommissioning and reconfiguration of shared water delivery infrastructure.
The Australian Government has allocated $200 million for the program over four years.
Funding for the non-water purchase elements of the program will be provided from the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure program.
Information on future rounds will be made available on this website.
For more information see: Strategic Sub-System Reconfiguration in the Murray-Darling Basin
Outcomes from the southern and northern Basin tenders under the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program are regularly updated.
For more information see: Progress of water purchasing under the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program
For more information about total water recovery progress towards environmental water requirements in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan see: Progress Towards Meeting Environmental Needs Under The Basin Plan
Pricing information is publicly released at the conclusion of each water purchase imitative to provide greater transparency and to assist irrigators considering placing a sell offer in the future.
For more information see: Average prices of offers pursued from recent tenders
The department commissions independent consultants to compile quarterly price reports to assist irrigators to identify the prices that are being paid for various water entitlements across the Murray-Darling Basin.
For more information see: Market price information for Murray-Darling Basin Water Entitlements
In June 2012 the department released a report commissioned by Marsden Jacob Associates Pty Ltd that independently assessed the impact of water sales to the Commonwealth on participating irrigators.
For more information and to access the final report see: Survey of water entitlement sellers under the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin Program
For further information please phone the Water Information Line on 1800 218 478 or e-mail the Water Purchasing Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MDB catchments