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ACCC Inquiry into Water Markets in the Murray-Darling Basin

Waterfind submission to ACCC Murray-Darling Basin water markets inquiry

28th November, 2019

Waterfind was grateful for the opportunity to provide input into the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) Murray-Darling Basin water market inquiry (Inquiry).


Our Review of the ACCC Water Market Inquiry submissions

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) conducted an inquiry into markets for tradeable water rights in the Murray-Darling Basin, consulting with a wide range of water market participants involved in water markets in the Murray-Darling Basin in October 2019.

The ACCC will release an interim report on the inquiry in May 2020 and the final report in November 2020.

We conducted our own analysis, reviewing the public submissions, to highlight common themes and key issues raised by stakeholder type, level of support for or against reform and solutions suggested. At the time we conducted our review,  there were 121 submissions in total made to the ACCC Murray-Darling Basin Water Markets Inquiry.


Reflections on the ACCC Final Report

Four key observations have been observed from the report:

  1. the inquiry is not in itself ‘reform’ but a recommendation of reform.
  2. the report recognises the value of Australian Water Markets to the water / irrigation sector as well as the broader Australian Economy.
  3. the report does not recommend the removal of involvement from speculators / investors in the Australian Water Market and instead, supports their involvement and importance.
  4. that the structure and design of recommendations regarding water market regulation creates a strong environment for potential inaction from Federal and State Governments to adopt the ACCC recommendations.