Water

New wave for market

By Country News

Farmers could enjoy greater confidence and flexibility with the introduction of a never-before-seen water auction platform.

LandmarkWATER and AuctionsPlus have established an electronic, multi-vendor water auction.

Licensed estate agent of Landmark Harcourts Shepparton and water broker of LandmarkWATER Michael Downie said the greatest advantage of the new platform was the flexibility it offered farmers.

‘‘People wanting to buy water can bid from the leisure of their home,’’ Mr Downie said.

The first auction of the new format auctions will be held on Friday, January 15.

Limit bids can be placed from 9am and live bidding will begin at 1pm.

Mr Downie anticipated that the electronic water auction will provide better service to the farming community.

While there are other water brokers who have formatted their own water system, Mr Downie said this was the first time multi-vendors could sell water on a live and electronic bidding system.

The independent, open trading platform aims to provide transparency to buyers.

‘‘A third-party is well audited ... this will give farmers more confidence knowing the third-party is 100 per cent regimented.’’

Mr Downie also said the system would offer vendors a larger, more open market place.

He maintained that auctioning off commodities was proven to be the best way to market a product.

‘‘When water prices are up, people get cautious ... they’re thinking about whether the brokers are trying to manipulate prices and if they’re getting the best price.

The auction is referred to as a ‘‘cascading sequential water auction’’, meaning buyers can nominate their preferred amount of megalitres for the water parcel purchased.

The remainder of the parcel will continue to be auctioned, on the same terms and conditions, and can be split again into a smaller lot.

Mr Downie conducted a ‘‘highly successful’’ trial using the platform around four years ago and said it was one of the largest sales of government-owned water parcels on record.

Bidders must register with AuctionsPlus and LandmarkWATER prior to bidding.

Normal water brokering rules apply and customers will not be charged a fee to use the new platform.

‘‘I will be paying the fees for using AuctionsPlus,’’ Mr Downie said.