The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has welcomed Murray Irrigation’s efforts to secure early water access for irrigators.
RGA President Jeremy Morton said that the proposed Snowy advance is a good initiative that provides rice growers with an additional risk management tool.
“Murray Irrigation should be congratulated for its work on developing this option for irrigators. We support what has been proposed.”
“This announcement should boost confidence going into rice planting and help us take advantage of strong export demand and strong rice prices.”
Mr Morton said that advances such as this could generate greater predictability for irrigators when securing water.
“Under the current arrangements, water supply and market prices are largely determined by climate and inflows. Smoothing out water availability across periods of variable inflows will hopefully take some of the extreme variations out of water markets too.”
“We look forward to the deal being finalised and the opportunity being made available.”
Finally, Mr Morton flagged further opportunities for locking in a more permanent arrangement at lower cost.
“RGA will be actively involved in seeking a change to the way the Snowy Hydro licence agreement operates as part of a government review in 2015.”
“We think there needs to be a re-balancing in the way releases from Snowy storages are managed to
prioritise food production in Australia’s most productive agricultural area.”
“With international markets climbing over each other for our rice, it’s a discussion that needs to happen.”