Water ownership register may become public

Australians could soon discover who owns the country’s precious water resources.

The most recent figures show 10.5 per cent of Australian water is foreign-owned but only the federal government knows who those owners are.

“I’ll discuss that with the treasurer,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 2GB radio on Friday.

Mr Morrison referenced various ongoing reviews into water resources including an investigation by the competition watchdog.

“How we manage our water resources is absolutely critical – absolutely critical – particularly when we’ve had such challenges with drought in recent years,” he said.

“With a bit more coming through the system at the moment, we want to make sure it gets to the places which can support farmers to grow the things that are going to support about 60 million people around the world.”

Queensland has the highest volume of foreign-held water entitlements on issue with 1301 gigalitres as of mid-2019.

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