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National Water Reform

Public inquiry

This inquiry is complete. The Commission was asked to undertake an inquiry into the reform of Australia's water resources sector.

  • Issues paper 16 Mar 2017
  • Draft report 15 Sep 2017
  • Final report 31 May 2018

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 sought further information and feedback on the draft report.

Submissions were due by 19 October 2017.

Read the draft report

The final report was handed to the Australian Government on 19 December 2017 and publicly released on 31 May 2018.

Read the inquiry report

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

The Commission was 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.

This was 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.