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Southern Rural Water says there has been growing interest in its upcoming Macalister Irrigation Area water auction, on Wednesday 26 February.

“After two dry summers in a row, we expect people will be thinking about their water and how they might be able to improve their long term situations,” said Manager Water Supply East, Terry Clapham. “Our auction allows people to invest in their farm business in a way that helps lock in a sustainable future.

“We should emphasise that buyers will be able to use the allocation that comes with purchased water shares immediately after final payment is made.”

Terry said information sessions at the Southern Rural Water Maffra office are now complete, and that 15 registrations have already been received from interested buyers.

“We are keen to discuss the auction process with anyone who has questions or queries,” he said. “Anyone with queries should phone our Maffra office.”

A total of 559.9 ML of high reliability and 720.5 ML of low reliability water shares will go under the hammer in 50 ML parcels. Buyers can choose smaller amounts if they don’t want to purchase the entire parcel. In a change from previous years, buyers will receive one low reliability water share for every high reliability share they purchase in the first auction and then if high reliability is remaining, Southern Rural Water will auction high only and then the remaining low reliability shares.

“So potentially, there will be three auctions in total on the day,” said Terry.

Importantly, if there are still remaining shares after the auctions, they will be offered for sale at a shelf price for a period of six months. The shares will be advertised on the Southern Rural Water trading forum Watermatch. After this period, any remaining shares will be distributed equally among existing customers.

Those interested in bidding must register by 25 February. Registration is free.

“We should also remind anyone planning to buy water that they should check their annual use limit beforehand, as extra allocation may push the property over the allowable volume,” said Terry. “You can check your annual use limits via your on-line water statement or by phoning our planners.”

The auction will take place at the Maffra Recreational Reserve on 26 February at 11am.

More information is available from Southern Rural Water’s Maffra office, online at www.srw.com.au, or by phoning 1300 139 510.

ENDS.

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