Harper Review

​​The Australia Government’s Competition Policy Review Final Report was delivered in March 2015.

In relation to water, the review recommended that all governments should progress implementation of the principles of the National Water Initiative, with a view to national consistency.

Governments should focus on strengthening economic regulation in urban water and creating incentives for increased private sector participation through improved pricing practices.

State and territory regulators should collectively develop best practice pricing guidelines for urban water, with the capacity to reflect necessary jurisdictional differences. To ensure consistency the Australian Council for Competition Policy should oversee this work.

State and territory regulators should develop clear timelines for fully implementing the National Water Initiative, once pricing guidelines are developed. The Australian Council for Competition Policy should assist states and territories to complete this work.

Where water regulation is made national, the responsible body should be the proposed national Access and Pricing Regulator or a suitably accredited state body.

The government has indicated support for these recommendations and will consider payments to states and territories that improve productivity and lead to economic growth.