Lake Glenmaggie is at about 50 per cent of capacity.
Despite this, a large proportion of irrigators in the Macalister Irrigation District are effectively close to or out of entitlement.
It is blatantly obvious that the current policy for allocating water in this district is not working.
Whilst in northern Victoria vast amounts of unused water can be traded between systems on an open and transparent trading platform, the same cannot be said for the MID.
The Victorian Government Water Act needs amending to allow changes in Southern Rural Waters management of the MID.
Non-users of water (a arge proportion of water is held on small rural allotments and is never used or traded) should be questioned on their plans to use their entitlement in January, and either made to put it up for a trading auction or forfeit the guarantee of it being supplied.
This would give more liquidity to water trading when it is needed.
A proportion of low reliability water should be made available from February on the assumption of normal autumn rain (as is the case with Lake Glenmaggie being kept below capacity for flood mitigation purposes until October on the same assumption).
The one size fits all policy for water in Victoria does not work for the MID.
Our lake can fill very quickly and a policy which sees it half full in February when productive farms cannot access it is just plain wrong.
The viability of the MID is at stake. It is time for farmers to stand up and local MPs Peter Ryan and Tim Bull need to become involved.