The Australian Government will open a water purchase tender in the Barwon-Darling catchment of New South Wales at 9am AEST on 4 June 2015.

This tender will be open to owners of Class A, Class B and Class C water licences from within the Barwon-Darling catchment.

The tender will be run as an open competitive tender, with bids up to the Government’s benchmark prices considered for purchase, within an overall budget of $14million.

The Government’s value for money requirements are outlined in the Request for Tender guidelines in the tender documentation, which will be available on the Department’s website once the tender has opened.

Any water purchased within this tender will come under the Australian Government’s 1,500GL cap on total water purchases in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The priority for the Government’s focus on water recovery for environmental purposes is on investment in irrigation infrastructure, to deliver water efficiencies to farm businesses and increased productivity, while increasing water available for environmental needs within the Basin.

The Australian Government will continue to focus any remaining buyback on strategic opportunities to meet the requirements of the Basin Plan. The Barwon Darling tender has had strong support from the Northern Basin Advisory Committee and at community meetings.

This modest water purchase will help to deliver on the Government’s commitment to recover 2,750GL to bridge the gap to the Sustainable Diversion Limits in the Basin Plan. There remains a gap to bridge in the northern Basin to meet the shared component for water recovery, as set out in the Basin Plan.

The Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin is currently being updated to include information on water recovery progress and areas for recovery in 2015-16, including the Barwon-Darling catchment. The Strategy is available on the Department’s website at Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin.

Further information including request for tender guidelines and application forms will be made available on the Department’s website at Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin on 4 June 2015.

Interested licence holders will have until 5pm AEST on 6 July 2015 to make an offer.

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