Senator Perin Davey welcomes Water Markets Report

Mar 26, 2021 | Media Releases 2021

The report into the Murray-Darling Basin Water Markets released today highlights the need for improvement in market information and transparency across all jurisdictions according to NSW Nationals
Senator Perin Davey.

“This report to Government highlights the complexity of the water market across multiple jurisdictions and operating under various reporting and accounting regimes,” Senator Davey said.

Senator Davey said, while the report did not find any evidence of market manipulation or misuse of market power by investors or large corporate agriculture, it suggested the opaqueness of the available data led to distrust and lack of confidence in the water market.

The report, prepared by the ACCC and released today, makes 29 recommendations under four themes covering governance, processes and information, conduct and integrity and market structure.

“This is a comprehensive report that will take time to digest and evaluate,” Senator Davey said.

“On the surface, there are some key issues that need to be addressed including market operability and transparency and accountability for water market intermediaries, like water brokers and exchanges.

“There are some strong recommendations in the report, but the key is collaboration between the different jurisdictions that make up the Murray-Darling Basin.

“What this report makes clear is that no one jurisdiction can go it alone. It has to be one-in-all-in,” Senator Davey said.

The Deniliquin based Senator who lives in the centre of the southern connected water market said it was important to understand changes to market rules leads to changes in water user behaviour and
consideration must be given to the impacts of policy change.

“Our government, in considering our response to this report must consider the impact on water users and their communities. That is more important than the impact on a market,” she said.

Senator Davey said the government will now consider the report and consult with state jurisdictions and water users, to respond to the recommendations.