Delivering fit-for-purpose Murray-Darling Basin water markets

25 October 2021

The Australian Government has announced a key appointment to help improve Murray-Darling Basin water markets and provide greater confidence to irrigators and communities.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said former Agriculture and Water Resources Department Secretary Daryl Quinlivan has been appointment principal adviser on a panel to examine recommendations of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report.

“Mr Quinlivan will be supported by an advisory group and work with Basin states to develop a water market reform roadmap to improve the governance, structure, and operation of Murray–Darling Basin water markets, Minister Pitt said.

“We have been listening to communities in the Murray–Darling Basin to ensure we deliver practical solutions so water markets operate more effectively and efficiently.

“Daryl Quinlivan is well placed to lead and advise me on water market reforms given his agricultural and water experience, and as former head of the Productivity Commission Office.

“The plan will inform the Australian Government response to the ACCC final inquiry report on Murray–Darling Basin water markets released in March 2021.

“Mr Quinlivan will start work from today to provide advice on actions that can be taken quickly and agreed to by Basin states by December, and develop a final roadmap during 2022.

Incoming 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 am looking forward to getting on with the job and developing a roadmap that can inform the Australian Government’s approach to this critical piece of public policy," Mr Quinlivan said.

“My focus will be on improving water market performance without adding unnecessary costs and regulatory burdens on users.”

The remainder of the 9 member expert panel that will be assisting Mr Quinlivan inform the Australian Government response to the ACCC final inquiry report is in the process of being finalised and will be announced shortly.

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