$31.6 million for a major reform of the federal water market
The federal government is investing $31.6 million in “once in a generation” water market reform, prioritizing trust and transparency for farmers and industry.
The reform will update and improve the way buyers and sellers negotiate and sell water use licenses.
The funding will implement the Reform of the water market: final report on the roadmap – which will improve the functioning and governance of water markets and strengthen global confidence.
The Reform roadmap The recommendations are divided into four sections: Integrity and Transparency, Data and Systems, Market Architecture and Governance.
- $12 million over four years to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to regulate market conduct in water
- This will allow the ACCC to enforce the new mandatory code of conduct for water market intermediaries and to enforce the new prohibitions on market misconduct.
- $9.1 million over four years for the Inspector General of Water Compliance to regulate market data
- This will ensure the application of new data requirements in water markets, which are essential to the success of the new integrity safeguards. The ACCC has found that lack of information is a major barrier to transparency and compliance with applicable laws
- $9.4 million over four years for the Department to implement the recommendations of the roadmap
- This includes drafting necessary legislative amendments and preparing new legislation for the water market reform package
Additionally, the Bureau of Meteorology will receive $1 million in funding to oversee the development of a National Water Data Center that will improve national water information to provide industry with quality data. , timely and consistent.
Water markets have become increasingly important as irrigation increases, water reliability decreases, and differences between high and low flows across the basin become more extreme.
This investment will strengthen the Murray-Darling Basin water market and allow for greater checks and balances. This will also facilitate the delivery of the basin plan.
The Australian Government will prioritize working collaboratively and cooperatively with basin jurisdictions to achieve these commitments.
Federal Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek said the reforms will bring confidence and certainty to irrigators and industry.
“Reforming water markets will crack down on the cowboys of the system and ensure a level playing field for those who do the right thing,” Ms. Plibersek said.
“Our $31.6 million investment in water market reform will go a long way to improving integrity, prohibiting market manipulation, and providing us with the means to deal with insider trading.
“As an example, integrity reforms will include: prohibition of market misconduct, introduction of a mandatory code for water market intermediaries, introduction of rules and mandatory processes for on-water announcements and expanded and strengthened price reporting requirements.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with state and territory basin ministers to bring this reform to fruition.”
The Australian Water Brokers Association (AWBA) said it has been actively supporting and advocating for positive and proactive change in the regulation of all Australian water markets for several years.
“Increased transparency and increased market confidence for the benefit of all water market players have been central to AWBA’s objectives,” said an AWBA spokesperson.
“The current federal government funding announcements are welcomed by the AWBA as a timely and critical step after more than three years of investigating the water market, beginning the regulatory and systemic changes needed to achieve these goals.”
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