Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

2016 Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme Auction is a hit

Media release: 22 July 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has successfully completed the 2016 credit auction for the Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme (HRSTS), seeing all 1000 credits purchased by local industry members and generating over $170,000 in revenue.

The HRSTS is designed to protect the Hunter River from high salinity levels while maintaining the economic viability of industry and communities that use the river. The Scheme ensures that only industries which have purchased credits may discharge saline waters, at times of high water flow.

EPA Hunter Manager, Adam Gilligan, said the auction result is testament to the success of the EPA’s scheme.

“Before the scheme was introduced there was significant tension between primary producers and industry, as discharges from industry significantly increased salinity levels in the water, making it unsuitable for irrigation,” Mr Gilligan said.

“The HRSTS reduces the impact of saline water in the Hunter River catchment by determining who can discharge saline waters and when. This balances the needs of Hunter River irrigators and the surrounding industries, while maintaining a healthy ecosystem.” 

The HRSTS uses an online auction process to ensure there is equal access for all bidders, including new entrants to the market.

“This is the second year that the EPA has used an online auction format, which streamlines the running of the auction for our staff and auction participants on the day. It also ensures an equitable approach to the conduct of the auction.

“Nine industry members took part in the 2016 auction, with every participant successful in gaining credits. This year auction participants purchased between 2 and 50 credits.

“We are very pleased with the result. The auction raised $170,359 and the revenue generated will be used to offset costs for running the scheme over the coming years.”

For more information about the Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme, including information on past auctions, visit

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 22 July 2016