Local News

Investment Companies on Notice for Selling Water to Farmers

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Investment firms profiting from selling water to struggling farmers are being put on notice.

The Federal Government is considering shutting down companies with entitlements to water in the Murray Darling Basin that do not have their own land and are selling their share to drought-stricken farmers.

Federal Water Minister David Littleproud said he will ask the ACCC to investigate the fairness of investment companies buying up water and selling it at a profit to farmers crippled by the drought.

He said it will be the government’s “responsibility to act” if the watchdog concludes commercial water operators are driving up prices and preventing farming families from being able to buy water.

Duxton Water is one company with water rights in the Southern Murray Darling Basin with allocations to 69,700 megalitres of water, despite not owning land to use it on. It reported an increase of 288% in gross profit to the end of 2018, recording a $15.5 million windfall.

Duxton Water has told 9News the company owns one per cent of water rights in the southern Murray Darling Basin, and is in the business of working and partnering with farmers.

"Duxton Water does not speculate. It is a long-term investor of water rights and a long-term supplier of water with the aim of ensuring the long-term viability and sustainability of agricultural production in Australia,” a company spokesperson said.
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