Independent review of the Water Act 2007

​​On 12 May 2014, the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator Hon. Simon Birmingham, announced an independent review of the Water Act 2007.

About the review

This was the first review of the Act since it commenced on 3 March 2008. In accordance with its terms of reference, the review assessed the operation of the Act, the extent to which its objects have been achieved and opportunities to minimise regulatory burden imposed on irrigation infrastructure operators, water managers and irrigators.

The review was undertaken by an independent Expert Panel comprising Mr Eamonn Moran PSM QC (Chair), Mr Peter Anderson, Mr Gavin McMahon and Dr Steve Morton.

Review report

Publication details

Commonwealth of Australia, 2014

The Review report was tabled out of session on 19 December 2014. The report made 23 recommendations and 30 conclusions relevant to the terms of reference.

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Document Pages File size
Report of the Independent Review of the Water Act 2007 PDF PDF Icon  148 1.2 MB
Report of the Independent Review of the Water Act 2007 DOCX Word Icon 190 10 MB
Report of the Independent Review of the Water Act 2007 — Recommendations and Conclusions PDF PDF Icon 9 82 KB
Report of the Independent Review of the Water Act 2007 — Recommendations and Conclusions DOCX Word Icon 11 34 KB

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Government response

Publication details

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 2015

On 3 December, the Minister for Agriculture and Water resources table the government’s response to the Review report and introduced the Water Amendment (Review Implementation and other Measures) Bill 2015 to the Parliament. The Australian Government’s response to the Water Act Review accepted all 23 of the expert panel’s recommendations in full or in part.

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Report of the Independent Review of the Water Act 2007: Australian Government response PDF PDF Icon 27 334 KB
Report of the Independent Review of the Water Act 2007: Australian Government response DOCX Word Icon 27 162 KB

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The review recommendations were incorporated into the Water Act 2007 through the Water Amendment (Review Implementation and Other Measures) Act 2016, which was passed by the Australian Parliament on 2 May 2016. The amendments to the Water Act 2007:

  • allow for greater flexibility in the use of the proceeds of water trading by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder
  • require five-yearly reviews of the socio-economic impacts of the Basin Plan
  • ensure a further review of the Water Act in 2024
  • allow for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to sell water in circumstances where allocation would otherwise be foregone
  • reduce regulatory burden on the irrigation sector and state government agencies
  • ensure the Water Act more effectively supports the delivery of the Basin Plan.

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Public consultation

Extensive consultation was undertaken to inform the review’s findings.

Interested parties were invited to make submissions between 26 May 2014 and 4 July 2014. The 73 public submissions made are available below.

The expert panel also conducted early meetings with peak bodies and all states and territories; and interactive roundtable discussions with groups from a range of sectors, including industry, environment, Indigenous and community groups and governments.

[Expand all]

Submissions

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Document Pages File size
Australian Competition And Consumer Commission PDF PDF Icon 14 275 KB
Australian Conservation Foundation PDF PDF Icon 9 364 KB
Australian Dairy Industry Council PDF PDF Icon 9 197 KB
Australian Forest Products Association PDF PDF Icon 7 193 KB
Australian Network of Environmental Defenders Offices (ANEDO) PDF PDF Icon 6 242 KB
Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association PDF PDF Icon 2 375 KB
Barbara Darvall PDF PDF Icon 1 10 KB
Birdlife Southern NSW PDF PDF Icon 4 204 KB
Brian (Barney) Stevens PDF PDF Icon 1 306 KB
Conservation Council SA PDF PDF Icon 5 232 KB
Cotton Australia PDF PDF Icon 8 179 KB
Cumberland Bird Observers Club Inc PDF PDF Icon 3 345 KB
Dorte Planert PDF PDF Icon 1 83 KB
Dr Richard Mallaby PDF PDF Icon 1 11 KB
Environment Victoria PDF PDF Icon 8 308 KB
Environmental Farmers Network PDF PDF Icon 1 95 KB
Environmental Justice Australia PDF PDF Icon 11 129 KB
Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations PDF PDF Icon 12 224 KB
Friends of the Earth Melbourne PDF PDF Icon 8 212 KB
Frontier Economics PDF PDF Icon 4 209 KB
Geoff Wise PDF PDF Icon 2 267 KB
Goulburn Valley Environment Group PDF PDF Icon 2 104 KB
Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association PDF PDF Icon 56 1.6 MB
Hastings Birdwatchers PDF PDF Icon 2 161 KB
Ingrid Hindell PDF PDF Icon 1 45 KB
Inland Rivers Network PDF PDF Icon 4 70 KB
James Stranger PDF PDF Icon 1 42 KB
Jane Judd PDF PDF Icon 1 37 KB
Katie O'Bryan PDF PDF Icon 3 369 KB
The Law Society of New South Wales PDF PDF Icon 3 2.7 MB
Linden Gillbank PDF PDF Icon 1 48 KB
Mark Mathews PDF PDF Icon 4 527 KB
Minerals Council of Australia PDF PDF Icon 5 49 KB
Murray Darling Association PDF PDF Icon 5 465 KB
Murray-Darling Basin Authority PDF PDF Icon 10 5.4 MB
Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations PDF PDF Icon 2 188 KB
Murray Irrigation PDF PDF Icon 18 506 KB
Murray Valley Private Diverters PDF PDF Icon 175 5.7 MB
National Farmer's Federation PDF PDF Icon 21 564 KB
National Irrigators Council PDF PDF Icon 16 685 KB
National Native Title Council PDF PDF Icon 13 248 KB
National Parks Association of NSW PDF PDF Icon 2 261 KB
National Water Brokers Pty Ltd PDF PDF Icon 7 224 KB
Nature Conservation Council PDF PDF Icon 9 613 KB
Neville Schrader PDF PDF Icon 2 91 KB
New South Wales PDF PDF Icon 2 87 KB
Nick Ivanoff PDF PDF Icon 1 41 KB
Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations PDF PDF Icon 13 1.1 MB
Northern Basin Advisory Committee, MDBA PDF PDF Icon 3 122 KB
NSW Farmers Association PDF PDF Icon 2 97 KB
NSW Farmers Association PDF PDF Icon 8 251 KB
NSW Irrigators Council PDF PDF Icon 17 476 KB
Paul Vale PDF PDF Icon 2 632 KB
Peel Valley Water Users Association PDF PDF Icon 2 541 KB
Peel Valley Water Users Association PDF PDF Icon 3 148 KB
Peter Jerie PDF PDF Icon 1 66 KB
Primary Producers SA PDF PDF Icon 2 256 KB
Queensland PDF PDF Icon 9 1.3 MB
Queensland Farmers Federation PDF PDF Icon 2 176 KB
Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Inc. PDF PDF Icon 4 374 KB
Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils (RAMROC) PDF PDF Icon 3 41 KB
Robert Vincin PDF PDF Icon 28 5.7 MB
Robyn Caulfield PDF PDF Icon 1 32 KB
Sarah Moles PDF PDF Icon 1 85 KB
South Australia PDF PDF Icon 24 1.8 MB
Southern Riverina Irrigators PDF PDF Icon 6 217 KB
State Water (NSW) PDF PDF Icon 55 321 KB
Stephen Wood PDF PDF Icon 1 33 KB
Susanna Cheng PDF PDF Icon 1 39 KB
Victorian Government PDF PDF Icon 29 501 KB
Victorian Recreational Fishing Peak Body (VRFish) PDF PDF Icon 2 75 KB
Waterfind PDF PDF Icon 11 322 KB
Western Murray Irrigation Limited PDF PDF Icon 9 511 KB
Wyong Shire Council PDF PDF Icon 2 602 KB

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See also:

Download

Document Pages File size
Terms of reference - Review of the Water Act 2007 PDF PDF Icon 2 136 KB
Terms of reference - Review of the Water Act 2007 DOC Word Icon 2 34 KB
Water Act to undergo independent review—media release, 12 May 2014 HTML  
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Last reviewed: 13 October 2020
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