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National water reform 2024

Final report has been sent to government

  • Why the inquiry?
  • Call for submissions
  • Interim report
  • Final report

What we’ve been asked to look at

The Commission has advised on the progress of all Australian governments in achieving the objectives, outcomes and timelines anticipated under the 2004 Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative (NWI), consistent with the Water Act 2007 (Cth). This is the third inquiry the Commission has undertaken on the progress of water reform in Australia.

Read the Terms of Reference

Call for submissions

The Commission has released a call for submissions to guide people in preparing a submission. It sets out some of the issues and questions the Commission has identified as relevant at this early stage of the inquiry. Participants should provide evidence to support their views, including data and specific examples where possible.

Submissions were due by Friday 2 February 2024

Read the call for submissions

Interim report release

The interim report finds that the 2004 National Water Initiative (NWI) has served Australia well, but there is an urgent need for renewal, due to climate change and changing water demand.

The interim report also sets out the Commission’s preliminary assessment of jurisdiction’s progress towards meeting the outcome and objective of the 2004 National Water Initiative.

Further information and feedback on the interim report were sought by 24 April 2024.

Read the interim report


The Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is also currently seeking views on a future national water agreement. This consultation is separate to the Commission’s National Water Reform 2024 Inquiry. Further information on the department’s consultation process is available at Consultation hub | Seeking views on a future national water agreement.

Final report to Government and release

The final inquiry report was handed to the Australian Government on 28 May 2024.

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.

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