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The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell says a review of rural water charges in northern Victoria will mean fairer water bills for rural water users in Northern Victoria.

Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan announced today an elected Liberal Nationals government would review storage and delivery charges for rural water users.

Ms Lovell said the water market in Northern Victoria had changed significantly and a review was needed to ensure rural water users were being charged appropriately.

“Our Northern Victorian irrigators and domestic and stock water users have serious concerns they aren’t being charged fairly for the water they use,” Ms Lovell said.

“We need to get the balance right – our communities depend on it.

Water storage and delivery charges are stuck in the past, a review is needed to ensure they align with the requirements of a changing water market.”

Ms Ryan said there had been a lot of change in Victoria’s water ownership and entitlement framework since the millennium drought.

The Liberal Nationals’ rural water charges review will give all stakeholders a chance to have their say.

To be conducted by an advisory committee, it will also consider the appropriateness of current fixed and variable delivery fees assigned to each user category and the distribution of delivery shares among gravity and pumped districts.

“There is significant concern that delivery shares are acting as a handbrake in regional communities which have lost water,” Ms Ryan said.

“Some also believe that current storage costs unfairly favour traders, bulk entitlement and environmental water holders over irrigators.

“If elected, we will review the pricing framework to ensure the storage and distribution charges being applied by Northern Victoria’s rural water authorities are fair.”


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