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Australia's Urban Water Sector inquiry report

Following the agreement of COAG, the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine the case for microeconomic reform in the urban water sector and to identify pathways to achieving improved resource allocation and efficiency.

In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission identified opportunities for efficiency gains in the structural, institutional, regulatory and other arrangements that govern the sector. In particular, the Commission:

  • provided options to achieve identified efficiency gains
  • subjected these options to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis to identify their:
  1. economic, social and environmental impacts
  2. impacts on Australian governments, business and consumers
  3. propensity to facilitate supply and demand planning and decision-making in the medium and long term.
  • proposed a work program including implementation plans for the options, identifying:
  1. practical actions that the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and local councils can undertake to implement options for reforms, including any transitional arrangements
  2. priority areas where greatest efficiency gains are evident and where early action is practicable
  3. quantitative and qualitative indicators for efficiency gains in the urban water and waste water sectors.

The Commission consulted widely with government agencies and other interested parties.

Download the report:


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