Discussion paper

National water reform: issues paper

16 Mar 2017
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Today the Productivity Commission released an issues paper posing the questions the Commission will seek to ask and answer in their National Water Reform Inquiry.

Water reform has supported growth in agriculture and other industries, returned much needed water to the environment, created markets for better water use and delivered improved water services for all Australians.

'This inquiry will not simply ask and answer have we done well to date. It will also focus on the future challenges to ensure our water policy settings are future proof. Climate change and climate variability, population growth and ageing water infrastructure are looming challenges,' said Associate Water Commissioner, John Madden.

'Consultation is really important for this inquiry. The Productivity Commission wants to hear what has worked well and what hasn't, is there any unfinished business and what is needed for water policy to serve us well in the future,' said Associate Water Commissioner, John Madden.

Initial consultation has identified some areas that the inquiry should focus on including urban water services, planning for future water security and environmental management. The Commission wants to hear from people if these are the issues that the inquiry should be concentrating on in water management.

The Commission has also established a stakeholder working group as an additional and important consultation forum.

The government has also tasked the Commission with undertaking a review of the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP). That separate inquiry will be undertaken in 2018 and will examine the MDBP more closely.

Initial submissions are due by Tuesday 18 April 2017. Opportunity for further comment will be sought upon release of the draft report in September 2017.

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