Water managment, water markets

Victorian tagged accounts finally closed

2 December 2019

We wrote an article back on 20 August 2019 when the Victorian Government made an announcement about closing the tagged accounts.

This create a lot of discussion among the irrigation community. 99% of irrigators understood it was only a matter of time before the loophole would be closed, but wondered why the change would be implemented in one of the toughest seasons in recent times.

At the time of the announcement it was stated the accounts would be closed “in December”. Since then there has been a lot of speculation about the date, causing more anxiety among irrigators.

On the evening of 28 November 2019, the date of 12 December 2019 was announced by the Minister. Exactly how the tagged accounts will be “closed” is not yet known.

The Victorian Water Register has put together an article that includes FAQ’s about the tagged accounts and the interim operation of the Lower Goulburn River.

This will have implications for irrigators across the southern-connected basin. Murray irrigators will now have to source their water locally, essentially increasing the demand in the Murray system and prices therefore increasing. On the other hand, with demand being removed from the Goulburn, we’d expect to see prices soften there.

Interestingly this is all happening at the same time as water from the SA desalination plant is being distributed to irrigators. The cause and effect of pricing will likely be difficult to ascertain.