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Change to trade of Domestic and Stock (Stock) licence allocations due to the drought

The ALDP amendment order will allow for trade of water allocations but will only apply to licensed stock use. Find out more.

Cows graze by the side of the road in Paterson, Hunter Valley, New South Wales,  Australia.

Access Licence Dealing Principles (Drought Measure for Domestic and Stock Access Licences) Amendment Order 2020


There are now more piped stock schemes in existence as a result of funding provided by the Commonwealth under water recovery programs for the Basin Plan. As part of the funding agreements, licensed stock water users were required to give up some of their entitlement to the Commonwealth. Allocations to stock and domestic access licences have been reduced in some valleys because of the drought, which has left many of these piped schemes and other licensed stock users with insufficient allocation.

Reasons for decision

Prohibition and regulation of trade – section 71Z

The Access Licence Dealing Principles (ALDP) amendment order has been made under section 71Z of the Water Management Act 2000. Section 43 (2) of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides that the power to make an order under an Act includes the power to amend the order. The ALDP order is being amended to reflect the changes to conditions outlined above. Allowing trade of stock allocation water will assist some domestic and stock schemes and other licensed stock users whose access to water has been restricted because of reduced allocations.

The amendment order allows for the assignment of allocations between domestic and stock access licences on regulated rivers if take under these access licences is metered. The amendment order does not apply to domestic and stock (conveyance) licences or domestic and stock licences of a subcategory domestic or town water supply.

The ALDP amendment order will allow for trade of water allocations but will only apply to licensed stock use – not basic landholder rights, which are not licensed, volume limited or part of the trading framework.

This amendment order will remain in place until 30 June 2020. However, it can be amended or repealed should conditions change.

Vanessa O’Keefe
A/Executive Director Policy, Planning & Sciences
30 January 2020