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Basin Plan amendments - ACCC advice on amendments

In implementing the water trading rules, the Authority has identified areas that may benefit from clarification to ensure they operate in the manner that was originally intended. On 18 August 2016 the Authority requested the advice of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as required by the Water Act 2007 (Cth) (Act). On 10 October 2016, the MDBA received The Water trading rules - advice on amendments, from the ACCC. This document provides the ACCC’s advice on four specific areas Basin Plan water trading rules:

  • clarifying free trade in surface water systems
  • clarifying allowable restrictions on surface water trade
  • maintaining information reporting requirements
  • the take and use of water after a trade.

This advice was developed within the legislative framework set out in the Act. In particular, the ACCC has considered the way in which the existing Basin Plan water trading rules, and possible amendments, can contribute to the achievement of the Basin water market and trading objectives and principles contained in Schedule 3 of the Act. The advice identifies three minor amendments to the water trading rules to improve their clarity and function. In accordance with this advice, the Authority has agreed to defer any amendment regarding the take and use of water (section 12.09) after a trade to allow for greater consideration of the policy issues.

The proposed changes to the Basin Plan in light of this advice are set out in the proposed amendment and described further in the plain English summary