Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has written to the Federal Minister for Water David Littleproud asking him to clarify the role of Duxton Water in informing the terms of reference for the promised referral to the ACCC.
“I’m concerned that water speculators are given a place at the table when throughout our regional communities we are hearing there are serious issues around transparency and the way water trading is conducted,” Ms Sheed said.
“These funds such as Duxton Water seem to be in the market purely to speculate and make as much money as possible out of the trade of water, rather than the productive use of water which was always the intention of the water trade.
“With up to seven per cent of water in Victoria alone in the hands of those who are not land owners, we have to ask why a $170 million company such as Duxton would receive a voice at the table.”
Without transparency in the system, farmers and their communities are being left at the mercy of speculators according to Ms Sheed who said speculators have a vested interest in driving up the price of water to levels that have become unsustainable for many of the actual end-users.
“There has been a shocking lack of transparency,” Ms Sheed said.
“I welcome Minister (Lisa) Neville’s comments a fortnight ago at Tatura that she is in favour of transparency and wants feedback on what that should look like.
“Many of our farmers are wondering what peak bodies such as the National Irrigators Council are representing when they clearly have member companies that hold a conflict of interest to those of our smaller farmers in regional communities in the southern Basin.
“Clearly they have entirely different commercial interest to so many of our food and fibre producing farms.”
Myles Peterson 0467 035 840│email@example.com