Basin Plan

Cotton company reaped $52m windfall in sale of water rights to government

2 March 2018

Anne Davies, The Guardian
2 March 2018

One of Australia’s largest cotton companies, Eastern Australia Agriculture (EAA), sold water rights to the federal government in July last year for $79m and then booked a $52m gain on the sale.

The deal, which was done without tender, will raise questions about whether the government paid over the odds for the water in southern Queensland.

Details of the water buyback were released to the Senate after an NXT senator for South Australia, Rex Patrick, sought production of documents associated with this and other water deals during Barnaby Joyce’s time as agriculture minister.

The documents included valuations by Colliers International, which were used by the Department of Agriculture to price the water from EAA. But unlike an earlier release of documents, the valuations were heavily redacted.

Read full article here.