National water reform assessment 2014

The Commission has a specific function to perform triennial assessments of progress by all parties in achieving the objectives and outcomes in the National Water Initiative (NWI).

Our National water reform assessment 2014 (triennial assessment) will provide independent, evidence-based assurance that the water reforms articulated in the NWI, along with any other subsequent reforms adopted by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), are achieving their intended outcomes.

Our report will include:

  • an assessment of progress in jurisdictional implementation of NWI actions, along with any subsequent water reform actions agreed to by COAG
  • an assessment of the impact of the NWI and related water reform efforts against the NWI objective of optimising economic, social and environmental outcomes
  • a review of emerging or changing water management challenges with recommendations on future reform priorities. 

To inform our analysis for these three focal areas, the following questions will be considered:

  • To what extent has the NWI enabled water use to support Australia's economic development, our communities and our environment?
  • In 2014, as we reach the ten year anniversary of the NWI, does the agreement still provide enduring principles to guide future water reform in Australia?
  • Do any emerging issues and challenges indicate a need to adjust the NWI in the future?
  • What are the remaining barriers to implementing agreed water reforms and how can they be overcome?
  • Are there more efficient or effective ways, including industry and private sector participation, of achieving the intended water reform outcomes?
  • Are there opportunities to better manage the interface of water policy with other policy realms such as energy and resources, agriculture, and urban planning?

The Commission has commenced its engagement with NWI parties, Australian Government agencies, industry stakeholders and the public to gather information and evidence. Please see the public submissions and associated issues paper. 

The Commission plans to submit its National water reform assessment 2014 report to the Prime Minister, as Chair of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), along with State and Territory First Ministers, in the second half of 2014.

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