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National Water Reform

Public inquiry

The Commission has been asked to undertake an inquiry into the reform of Australia's water resources sector.

  • Issues paper 16 Mar 2017
  • Draft report Sep 2017
  • Final report Dec 2017

The issues paper covers a range of issues on which the Commission seeks information and feedback, and is intended to assist you in preparing a submission.

Initial submissions were due by 18 April 2017.

Read the issues paper

The Commission will seek further information and feedback following release of a draft report. The release date is expected to be in September 2017.

The final report will be handed to the Australian Government by the end of 2017.

The release of the final report by the Government is the final step in the process.

Under the Productivity Commission Act 1998, the Government is required to table the report in each House of the Parliament within 25 sitting days of receipt.

The inquiry will assess progress in achieving the objectives and outcomes of the National Water Initiative (NWI) and the need for any future reform.

The Commission is required to:

  • assess the outcomes of the NWI and related water reform efforts
  • consider the potential and realised benefits of NWI implementation
  • consider the scope for improving the NWI
  • make recommendations on future reform priorities.

More detailed information can be found in the terms of reference.

This is the first of the Productivity Commission inquiries required by the Water Act 2007. The NWI-related inquiry will be undertaken every three years.

The Commission will also undertake inquiries into the effectiveness of the implementation of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan every five years, with the first to be completed by the end of 2018.

Nationa Water Refrom inquiries in 2017 and 2020. Basin Plan inquiry in 2018.


Tracey Horsfall (Administrative matters)
Ph: 02 6240 3261

Jessica Hartmann (Other matters)
Ph: 02 6240 3222


Free call: 1800 020 083

Register your interest

Be kept informed about the progress of this work.

Register online

Make a submission

The Commission invites interested people and organisations to make a submission.

Make a submission


Jane Doolan
John Madden
Associate Commissioner