The Commission’s independence and expertise primarily resides in its Commissioners.
Under the National Water Commission Act (as amended in 2012), the Commission comprises the Chair; and at least two, but no more than four, Commissioners. All are appointed by the Australian Government for terms of up to three years.
The Chair is nominated by the Australian Government and is appointed in consultation with the other parties to the NWI (the state and territory governments). Two Commissioners are nominated by the Australian Government, and two by the states and territories.
Commissioners are not representatives of any jurisdiction or industry sector. They are appointed in recognition of their expertise in water resource management, freshwater ecology or hydrology, resource economics, public sector governance, and the audit, evaluation or implementation of programs relating to natural resource management.
The primary role of the Commissioners is to:
- provide advice on the Commission’s strategic directions
- with the support of Commission staff, prepare major reports and other advice to the minister or to COAG
- promote the role of the Commission and the NWI reforms.