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Published: 27 October 2020   •   Media statements

We understand that water users are frustrated at the prospect of bulk water charges increasing, particularly given many general security irrigators did not have a water allocation in the past few years.

Contrary to recent claims, the MDBA does not levy any fees and charges on water users in the River Murray System and is therefore not seeking an increase in fees and charges.

The cost of running the River Murray System is agreed and paid by the NSW, Victorian and South Australian state governments. How the states choose to fund their share of the cost is up to them, but all states recover a portion from their water users.

The NSW pricing proposal to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) shows NSW's share of the cost going down by 3% next year. NSW is proposing to increase the proportion of its share recovered from water users through charges levied by WaterNSW from 48% to 73%.

The current considerations by IPART about bulk rural charges relate to the costs of maintaining the water infrastructure and delivery services that NSW water users rely on to sustain their businesses and community wellbeing.

Together, the state governments ensure that the River Murray System is operated for the maximum benefit to all water users, and the three governments provide the funds required to the MDBA to do that job on their behalf. That includes ensuring the major dams, weirs, locks and other parts of the river are in a fit shape.

The MDBA is cooperating with IPART to enable IPART to evaluate the costs of managing the River Murray system.

The MDBA's commitment is to run the system as efficiently and effectively as possible in accordance with the rules laid down by the state governments, and that is precisely what we do.

Andrew Reynolds, Executive Director, River Management


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