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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 254 asked in the Legislative Council on 11 April 2018 by Hon Diane Evers

Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 11 April 2018

WATER FOR FOOD PROGRAM — SOUTHERN FORESTS IRRIGATION SCHEME

254. Hon DIANE EVERS to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to the answer given by the Minister for Regional Development to question without notice 178 asked by Hon Colin Tincknell on 28 March 2018 about the proposed southern forests irrigation scheme. The minister advised that the underlying premise of the SFIS was to ensure that the limited water available could be delivered to where there is greatest need. Given that other jurisdictions in Australia are conducting feasibility studies and trials using blockchain technology for peer-to-peer water trading to increase fairness, transparency and efficiency in water trade, I ask —

(1) Was the possibility of using blockchain technology for peer-to-peer water trading in the SFIS considered?

(2) If yes to (1), what are the reasons that it was not incorporated as part of the governance system of the SFIS?

(3) If no to (1), why not?

(4) Will the state government consider looking into the feasibility of using blockchain in peer-to-peer water trading schemes in future?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for some notice of the question.

(1) I understand that the Southern Forests Irrigation Co-operative Ltd has considered various ways to allow trading of water both on a temporary and ongoing basis within the scheme limitations, but I am not aware of any plans to use blockchain technology at this time.

(2) Not applicable.

(3) Blockchain and other trading platform technologies may be adopted by the co-operative in the future should the volumes and complexity of the water trade require it. I have asked the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to work with the co-operative to consider this possibility.

(4) Given the relatively low number of water trades, there may be limited benefit in using blockchain. However, where applicable, it will be considered. I note that this matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Minister for Water.