Advisory Group on water market reform announced

11 November 2021

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt has announced the appointment of eight members to the Advisory Group on water markets in the Murray–Darling Basin.

The group consists of technical experts, water market users and stakeholder representatives.

Minister Pitt said the Advisory Group will play a key role in assisting the former Agriculture and Water Resources Department Secretary Daryl Quinlivan in his new capacity as the principal adviser. 

“Mr Quinlivan’s agricultural and water background along with the expertise and real-world experiences of the Advisory Group will provide the important foundations needed to work with Basin states and develop a reform roadmap for improving the structure, governance and operation of water markets in the Basin,” Mr Pitt said. 

“We have been listening to communities in the Murray–Darling Basin who want practical solutions. This is an important step in delivering water markets that operate more effectively and efficiently and don’t burden users with unnecessary costs.

“We owe it to all our Basin communities and water users to get this right.

“I’m confident that the representatives from throughout the Basin will enable us to deliver pragmatic and sensible reform that benefits everyone, not just a select few.

“The roadmap will inform the Australian Government response to the Australian Competition Consumer Commission’s final inquiry report on Murray–Darling Basin water markets released in March 2021.

“With representatives from every Basin state, this Advisory Group is a national reflection of experiences with the individual knowledge necessary to support Daryl Quinlivan as he leads and advises me on water market reforms.

The members of the Advisory Group on water market reforms are:

  • Mrs Jenny McLeod – Manager Policy and Communication, Coleambally Irrigation Cooperative Limited (CICL)
  • Mr Richard Anderson – Farmer, former Victorian Farmers Federation Water Council Chair
  • Mr Stuart Armitage – Farmer, former Queensland Farmers Federation President
  • Ms Rosalie Auricht – General Manager, Renmark Irrigation Trust 
  • Mr Phil Grahame – General Manager, Ruralco Water
  • Dr Andrew Stoeckel – Chief Economist at Centre for Regional Economic Development in the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Mr Dave Appels – Economist at Frontier Economics 
  • Dr Peter Hendy – Chief Executive Officer at Peter Hendy Consulting

Principal Adviser Daryl Quinlivan said Basin communities wanted assurance that they had reliable, fit-for-purpose water markets that gave everyone a fair go and that the community could have confidence in.

“I congratulate the members appointed and am looking forward to working together to develop a roadmap that can inform the Australian Government’s approach to this critical piece of public policy,” Mr Quinlivan concluded. 

For more information about water market reform visit the department’s website.

For more information on the members of the Advisory Group, visit here