Joint media release: ACCC Interim Review of Murray-Darling Water Markets

30 July 2020

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Treasurer
The Hon Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia


The Government welcomes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) interim report on its inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin’s water markets, released today.

On 8 August 2019, the Government directed the ACCC to undertake a public inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin water markets.

The ACCC was asked to recommend options to enhance markets for tradeable water rights, including options to enhance their operations, transparency, regulation, competitiveness and efficiency.

The report sets out the ACCC’s preliminary views on the Basin’s water markets, including a view that while the water market has brought benefits to irrigators, it needs changes to deliver improvements for water users.

This interim report draws upon analysis of comprehensive water market data from 2012 onwards, and the views of a broad range of stakeholders with interests in the use and trade of water in the Basin.

The ACCC is now inviting feedback on the preliminary conclusions and options outlined in this report, to assist the ACCC’s preparation of a final report to the Treasurer by 30 November 2020.