Closure in 2014

The 2014-15 Budget confirmed the Australian Government's decision to close National Water Commission (NWC) at the end of 2014 in order to achieve a net saving of $20.9 million over the next four years. As at April 2014 the Commission had 38 ongoing staff and two non-ongoing staff.

The Portfolio Budget Statement relating to the Commission states:

The Government has decided to cease the operations of the Commission in 2014-15 and to reallocate its statutory and some assessment responsibilities to other agencies. Legislation to repeal the National Water Commission Act 2004 will be tabled in the Parliament during the Budget sittings for effect from 1 January 2015.

In 2014-15 the NWC will focus its activities on the completion of the triennial assessment of Commonwealth, state and territory governments' implementation of their commitments under the NWI and provide a report to the Minister and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on progress of reform and on key issues needing to be addressed in the future. The NWC will also undertake administrative action to close its operations by 31 December 2014.

Commission functions

Some of the National Water Commission's core functions will transfer to other agencies. We have responsibility to:

Final agreement on the transfers of all these functions is yet to be reached.

Current priorities

Over the next six months, the Commission will deliver on our remaining 2014 work program commitments, foremost of which is our National water reform assessment 2014 (triennial assessment).

Stakeholder reactions

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.

Message from our Chair

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