Productivity Commission releases National Water Reform draft report

Posted 18 September 2017

Draft Report
Jonathan McKeown, Chief Executive of the Australian Water Association has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s Draft Interim Report on water reform.

“The Interim Report has called for continued reform of Australia’s water sector in light of the challenges triggered by climate change, population growth, and the renewed focus on developing our agricultural sector with new infrastructure for rural areas," Mr McKeown said.

"The Interim Report places correct emphasis on the need to ensure that our regional and rural communities are provided with adequate water services together with a call to involve indigenous issues and interests as we plan our water security in the future. 

"The Commission has called for continued improvement to how the country maximises the better integration of our water planning and regulatory processes. The Interim Report’s call to refine our water trading rights, entitlements, and processes deserves special attention.

"The Interim Report has also called for further reform of the urban water sector that is both welcome and timely. As our major cities face massive expansion in the years ahead, Australia needs to adapt new technologies, decentralised models, and alternative sources of water to provide the water services that the community needs.

"The Interim Report provides the water industry with the opportunity to comment on the proposed reforms. Do they go far enough? Will they best serve the interests of our service providers, water users, and the wider community? 

"I encourage all members to read the draft Interim Report and make your thoughts known to the Association through any of its Specialist Networks, Branches, or with comments direct to the Association at

The Association will be working closely with other organisations and stakeholders to present the Productivity Commission with the views of the water industry to this draft Interim Report.

Public hearings will take place across the country. The dates are as follows:

Canberra, ACT – Monday 16 October 2017
Sydney, NSW – Tuesday 17 October 2017
Brisbane, QLD – Thursday 19 October 2017
Melbourne, VIC – Tuesday 24 October 2017
Perth, WA – Thursday 26 October 2017