The Renmark meeting with ACCC Commissioners and staff on November 8 revealed just how complex, confounding and confusing the water markets are. Riverland Wine has sent a request to the Commission asking for further talks before the interim report in made to the Treasurer on May 31. The final report must be lodged by November 30.
Riverland Wine is not a licenced water holder and does not have a specific interest in the use and trade of water in the Murray-Darling Basin. However, its members are deeply invested in the well-being of the region, its economy, its environment and its communities. The diversity of opinions about best ways to manage water assets presents real challenges for the management committee of growers and winemakers in terms of preparing a specific, cohesive response to the ACCC inquiry. The membership base of 960 irrigators represents almost every imaginable form of business model from sole traders to some of the world’s largest international companies. This diversity of business models and business interests among members is matched by a corresponding diversity of opinions on water markets not dis-similar to the diversity of opinions about wine. This multiplicity of opinions and positions renders it impractical for this organisation to support a single set of arguments or positions around the MDB water markets underpinned by specific, coherent rationale.
Members will be notified details of the further talks as soon as arrangements can be confirmed.
The submission is available to read on the Riverland Wine website.