The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is proposing changes to operating rules and trade rules to ensure that water traded from the Goulburn to the Murray can be delivered without unacceptable impacts on the environment or the reliability of other entitlements.

Delivering water from the Goulburn inter-valley trade account during summer and autumn to support water requirements of the Murray system caused significant environmental damage to the lower Goulburn River over the two irrigation seasons of 2017-18 and 2018-19.


Public consultation on the Regulatory Impact Statement is now underway

Following public feedback on our initial consultation paper last year, DELWP has prepared a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) that assesses refined trade rule options based on what we heard from the community and identifies new operating rules for lower, more variable flows based on advice from an independent scientific panel. The RIS also includes long-term options for restricting tagged water use to continue the interim restrictions in place since 2019 that means tagged water cannot be used when trade is closed.

As part of the Goulburn to Murray Trade Review, proposed long-term changes for managing trade between the Goulburn system and the Lower Broken Creek have also been identified in the RIS, building on what we heard through consultation last year. A separate consultation paper has been prepared to explore in more detail the unique circumstances of this trading zone, and how the zone could be treated under the proposed changes to the Goulburn to Murray inter-valley trade rules.

DELWP is now seeking community feedback on the preferred option and related implementation plan identified in the RIS.

Consultation will take place from 22 March to 30 April and will include a mixture of online webinars, online drop-in sessions that will offer more opportunities for discussions and, where possible, face to face consultation. In-person sessions will be held in small groups pending the most up to date Covid-19 health advice.

Regulatory Impact Statement

The Goulburn to Murray trade review is being undertaken to enable sustainable delivery of water under new operating rules for the lower Goulburn River, and to make sure trade and use from tagged accounts reflect environmental thresholds.

The RIS covers both an assessment of changes to the Goulburn to Murray inter-valley trade rule as well as enduring regulations for restricting use from tagged accounts, which will replace the interim tagged allocation regulations introduced in December 2019. These are being assessed together as an impact on the trading rule directly impacts the tagged allocation regulations.

The RIS analysis draws upon the work of an expert scientific panel to assess the likely impacts of trade options on environmental values, and further assesses the impacts of each option on cultural, social and economic values.

Below you can access the RIS and attachments, and complete the survey questions.

DELWP are seeking your feedback on the proposed options identified in the Regulatory Impact Statement. We will consider all feedback in making our final recommendations to the Minister for Water on long-term changes to these rules.

Any feedback on the RIS should be submitted to DELWP by 30 April at the latest and can be addressed to water.markets@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Please see the collection notice below concerning how your submission and survey answers may be used.

Closing the loop on consultation to date

In March last year, DELWP released a paper for public consultation exploring how operating rules set by environmental thresholds interact with possible changes to trade rules. DELWP prepared a set of questions to help us gather relevant information and encouraged submissions in response to the consultation paper.

Thank you to all who provided feedback on the initial consultation paper. The Closing the Loop report brings together what we heard from the community. Information on interim measures and our next steps can be found at https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/delivering-basin-wa....

Public versions of the submissions we received can be accessed via the links below.

Goulburn to Murray Trade Rule Review submissions

Almond Board of Australia
PDF (326.91 KB)
Australian Fishing Trade Association
PDF (173.83 KB)
Australian Trout Foundation
PDF (136.98 KB)
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
PDF (160.57 KB)

Initial consultations in April 2020

All public face-to-face consultation for the initial Goulburn to Murray trade rule review were cancelled due to the emerging health crisis arising from Covid-19.

Public meetings were replaced with webinars to minimise face-to-face contact. For those who could not attend the sessions, we encourage you to listen to the recorded webinar below.

Goulburn to Murray trade rule review - Presentation

Lower Broken Creek - initial consultations

Consultation for customers on the Lower Broken Creek about changes to trade rules in the Lower Broken Creek trading zone 6B

In June 2020, DELWP held two meetings specifically for customers in the Lower Broken Creek to discuss the issues and proposed options for how the Lower Broken Creek could be managed in the future.

The Department encourages all Lower Broken Creek customers who could not attend one of the two sessions, to listen to the recorded webinar below, so you have the opportunity to hear about the issues and options presented for community feedback.

Collection notice

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

The information you provide may be used to inform the Goulburn to Murray Trade Rule Review and to send you updates about the program.

The information you provide will be made available to officers of DELWP for the purposes of conducting the Review, and may be used to inform future policy development work of the Victorian Government. Please note that information from the survey and submissions may be published on this website or in a summary ‘Closing the Loop’ report.

The information you provide will only be published after redacting personal contact information mentioned in your submission. Personal contact information here relates to individuals only and includes address, phone numbers or email addresses. Your name will be published, unless you advise otherwise. If you are making comment as an organisation, the name and contact details of your organisation will be published, unless you advise otherwise. If you do not wish your submission to be published or to have content from your submission quoted in response to consultation, please state clearly in your submission that you wish for it to remain confidential.

Publishing the information we have gathered will enable us to provide valuable feedback to the community about what we heard during the consultation period. You may access the information you have provided to the department by emailing the Retail Water Entitlements and Markets team at water.markets@delwp.vic.gov.au.

More information about DELWP's privacy policy is available via the link below: