What is a bulk entitlement?

A bulk entitlement is a legal right to take and use water granted under the Water Act 1989.

Who can hold a bulk entitlement?

Bulk entitlements can be held by water corporations, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and other specified bodies defined in the Water Act 1989 (section 34).

What rights and responsibilities are granted under a bulk entitlement?

In accordance with the section 43 of the Water Act 1989, bulk entitlements may specify a range of conditions and obligations on its holder, including:

  • Rules about when, where and how much water can be taken;
  • Rules about how the water can be used;
  • Rules about the right to a share of storage capacity and share of inflows;
  • Obligations to release flows for environmental uses;
  • Obligations to supply primary entitlement holders;
  • Obligations to contribute to the payment of operation and maintenance costs; and
  • Obligations to meter, maintain accounts and report.

Where can I access bulk entitlement information?

Bulk entitlements are recorded in the Victorian Water Register. You can access copies of the bulk entitlement orders on the Victorian Water Register website

How are bulk entitlements created?

The Minister for Water can issue bulk entitlements under the Water Act 1989 in two ways:

  • Conversion of a pre-existing right to water into a bulk entitlement (section 47); or
  • Granting a new bulk entitlement (section 43).

A potential bulk entitlement holder must apply to the Minister for Water for the conversion or granting of a bulk entitlement. The Minister Water must consider any applications in accordance with the procedures specified in the Water Act 1989.

Can bulk entitlements be amended?

Yes, under section 44 of the Water Act 1989 bulk entitlement holders can apply to the Minister for Water to amend an existing bulk entitlement.

Can bulk entitlements be traded?

Bulk entitlements may be transferred under section 46D of the Water Act 1989 provided the holder has applied for and obtained approval from the Minister for Water.

Water allocation made available under bulk entitlements may also be assigned to another person under Section 46A of the Water Act 1989 in accordance with trading rules.

Applications to issue or amend a bulk entitlement

When the Minister for Water receives an application for a new bulk entitlement or to amend an existing bulk entitlement, the requirements set out in the Water Act 1989 is followed, including:

  • Applications are advertised in local newspapers and on this website;
  • Depending on the nature of the proposal, the application process may involve consultation with stakeholders and local communities and submissions to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning or the applicant. The purpose of this consultation is to identify the potential impacts of the proposal, including any adverse impacts on existing water users and the environment;
  • The Minister for Water will consider any submissions received before making a determination on the application; and
  • New bulk entitlements or amendments are granted through an order from the Minister for Water or the Governor in Council and published in the Victoria Government Gazette

Applications pending approval

Amendment of Goulburn-Murray Water’s Eildon-Goulburn Weir bulk entitlement and River Murray bulk entitlement

The Victorian Government has received an application from Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) to amend its Goulburn and Murray river systems bulk entitlements under section 44 of the Water Act 1989.

The amendments are required to

  1. reduce loss allowances in line with the water recovered through modernisation works.  This will support issuing 77 GL long-term annual average yield (LTAAY) of water shares to eligible delivery share holders in the GMID from October 2021;
  2. enable GMW to set aside water during the seasonal determination process to apply to the water shares when they are issued from October 2021, and establish an end date for when the remaining shares must be issued;
  3. enable delivery share holders in the Lower Broken Creek to be issued water shares with a delivery zone 6B;
  4. set up new arrangements to facilitate the close out of the Murray and Goulburn offset accounts; and
  5. reset Murray loss allowances in line with the Torrumbarry and Murray Valley loss review which was undertaken by GMW in accordance with provisions of the Murray bulk entitlement.

More information

Amendment of Goulburn-Murray Water’s Eildon-Goulburn Weir bulk entitlement

The Acting Minister for Water, the Hon Richard Wynne MP, has received an application from Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) to amend its Goulburn System (Eildon - Goulburn Weir) bulk entitlement under section 44 of the Water Act 1989.

The amendments are required to establish the entitlement and operating arrangements associated with the Mitiamo Waterworks District, and to adjust the East Loddon (North) Waterworks District entitlement. These are both required to create a new entitlement to supply customers from the Mitiamo pipeline. The $29m Mitiamo and District Reticulated Water Supply project is building a pipeline to supply reticulated water supply for the Mitiamo region, supplying water to customers 365 days a year. This project was included in Victoria’s Northern Water Infrastructure Prospectus (released in 2018) as a priority water recovery project with positive socio-economic impacts, the project is contracted to deliver 1000 ML of water recovery to the Commonwealth.

More information

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Page last updated: 09/05/21