Productivity Commission releases draft report on National Water Reform

The Productivity Commission has released its draft report on National Water Reform, outlining the achievements and strengths of weaknesses of the National Water Initiative since it was established in 2004 to create a nationally-compatible market, regulatory and planning-based system to manage surface and groundwater resources.

The Commission found that the National Water Initiative has made a significant contribution to water resource management, that its principles are sound and that there has “generally been good progress in implementing the NWI, and its objectives and outcomes have largely been met.”

However, the report found that further work is needed to address policy gaps and limitations, and governments need to respond to the challenges posed by population growth, climate change and changing community expectations, including the cultural and economic aspirations of Indigenous people.

The Commission identified a range of reform priorities, and emphasised the need for State and Territory governments and the Australian government to recommit to a renewed NWI.

The draft report is available, and comment is due by 19 October 2017.

The final report will be forwarded to the Australian Government by 31 December 2017.

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