As the ANAO reported, strategic purchases of water through limited tender contribute to the government’s policy of bridging the gap and obtaining water for the environment.
The ANAO found that all strategic water purchases were equal to or below market value.
Acquiring water for the environment is a key objective of the Basin Plan. All water purchases were made on the basis that the water was needed to improve the health of rivers or wetlands in the Basin.
The Department accepted all the ANAO recommendations to improve the government’s water purchase framework.
The Department’s response to the ANAO report can be found at Appendix 1 of the report.
The Department also acknowledges the Minister’s concerns regarding the report’s findings and will evaluate the water purchase program later in the year to identify further opportunities for improvement.