Water market reform

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) were directed by the Commonwealth Government in August 2019 to conduct an inquiry into water markets in the Murray–Darling Basin.

Roadmap for water market reform

The Commonwealth Government has engaged an independent Principal Adviser to work with Basin states, industry, communities and other stakeholders to develop a phased, practical, and cost-effective plan for water market reform having regard to the findings and recommendations made by the ACCC.

The NSW Government is working closely to support the Principal Adviser in developing a roadmap for water market reform by June 2022.

Public consultation

The department held a webinar on 23 April 2021 to provide an update on the ACCC inquiry and the recommendations made in the Final Report. Stakeholders were also invited to provide submissions with their views on the recommendations.

The webinar was recorded and is available.

ACCC's Final Report – March 2021

The Final report was released by the ACCC on 26 March 2021. An eight-page Guide to the final report, which summarises the ACCC’s findings and recommendations, is also available.

The report makes a number of recommendations to enhance markets for tradeable water rights, including their operation, transparency, regulation, competitiveness and efficiency.

The department has been consulting with stakeholders and water management agencies to consider the costs, benefits and priorities of the recommendations to ensure any reform is targeted, proportionate and sustainable. This information will inform how the NSW Government engages with the development of the roadmap.

ACCC's Interim Report – July 2020

An Interim report was released by the ACCC in July 2020, which identified a range of options to improve the transparency and operation of these markets. The NSW Government made a high-level submission PDF, 360.27 KB in response to the interim report in August 2020.

To help inform this submission, the department engaged a consultancy firm to undertake an independent review PDF, 1121.6 KB of the interim options proposed by the ACCC. The department also prepared preliminary comments PDF, 633.34 KB on each of the individual options.