I’ve been too busy to do a proper assessment of the water policy announcement made on Tuesday by Penny Wong. The good news is that the government is finally getting moving on buying back water from irrigators, on a “willing seller” basis. That’s a significant change from the previous government, who clearly viewed buybacks as a last resort. However, as the ACF has pointed out, the previous plan did identify $3 billion for this purpose. It remains to be seen whether the government will take the shift further by applying more stringent cost benefit analysis to the engineering works favoured under the previous plan.
So, as with most things under the new government, a good start, but we’ll have to wait for more.