Closure in 2014
On 24 November 2014 the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee tabled its report on the National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014 recommending that the Bill be passed. The committee also tabled dissenting reports from Labor senators, Australian Greens senators and Senator Nick Xenophon. At the direction of the Senate, the committee had conducted an inquiry into the Bill, receiving 32 stakeholder submissions and holding a public hearing on 4 November. The committee’s report can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/NWC/Report.
National Water Commission submission (PDF 92 KB)
It is proposed that some of the National Water Commission's core functions are continued by other agencies.
The Bill transfers two statutory functions to the Productivity Commission: assessments of progress in the implementation of the NWI, and inquiry into the effectiveness of the implementation of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan and associated Basin State water resource plans. The Productivity Commission will also produce a biennial National Water Planning Report Card.
Monitoring and reporting on water markets will be addressed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences
The Department of the Environment will take on the assessment roles in relating to the National Partnership Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray–Darling Basin and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011.
The Bureau of Meteorology will coordinate national performance reporting for urban water utilities in 2014–15.
Stakeholder views and related media articles
The Commission works in partnership with governments around Australia, as well as with peak bodies who are represented on our Stakeholder Reference Group. Many of these organisations have responded publicly to the decision to close the Commission.
- Statement on the Future of Australia's Water Reform, Wentworth Group, 10 October 2014
- Productivity Commission to be water reform umpire, NFF media release, 25 September 2014
- Scattering water responsibilities a backward step, ACF media release, 25 September 2014
- Independent custodian needed for National Water Initiative, ACF media release, 9 September 2014
- Scientists blast government water policies, Sydney Morning Herald, June 29 2014
- Water industry seeks renewal of commitment to National water plan (PDF 78.7 KB), media release from the Australian Water Association (AWA) and Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), 25 June 2014
- Independent role must oversee water reform National Farmers' Federation (PDF 139.2 KB), media release from the National Farmers' Federation, 25 June 2014
- Fears for the future of water reform with axing of NWC, RN Breakfast, 25 June 2014
- 'Is Australia's water reform record under threat?', (PDF 388.9 KB) opinion piece by Dr John Williams in AWA's Water Journal, June 2014 issue.
- Concern small cuts to Federal Government agencies and programs could have larger effects, 23 May 2014, ABC News
- Who watches the waters? The end of the National Water Commission, APH Parliamentary Library, 16 May 2014
- Australia disbands National Water Commission, Circle of Blue WaterNews, 16 May 2014
- Call for key functions to remain as National Water Commission abolished, 13 May 2014, Australian Water Association and Water Services Association of Australia
- For nature or against? It's the government's choice, 2 May 2014, Australian Conservation Foundation
- Role of water authority should not go down the drain, 28 April 2014, National Farmers' Federation
- Abolishing National Water Commission short sighted, 22 April 2014, Water Services Association of Australia
- Water users worry budget cuts will compromise Murray-Darling Basin plan, ABC AM, 19 June 2014.