The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has submitted its advice on the accreditation of state agencies by the ACCC under the water infrastructure charge rules (WICR) to the Minister for Climate Change and Water.
The Minister had written to the ACCC requesting advice on accreditation under the WICR under section 93(1) of the Water Act 2007, by February 2010.
In developing its advice the ACCC issued draft advice and draft WICR and invited submissions from Basin state water ministers and agencies, operators, interested stakeholders and the public. Nine submissions were received in response.
In preparing its advice, the ACCC has considered matters raised during stakeholder consultation as well as the Basin water charging objectives and principles, and the governance and charging arrangements of operators.
The Minister may adopt the ACCC's draft WICR, with or without variation. If the Minister intends to proceed with the ACCC's advice and recommended rules, she is required to publish a notice on the department's website which includes a copy of the proposed WICR and a copy of the advice provided by the ACCC at least four weeks before the proposed WICR are made.
The Water Act 2007, which came into effect on 3 March 2008, creates new functions for the ACCC. These include the development of water charge rules and water market rules for consideration by the Minister; and for the ACCC to monitor compliance and enforce these rules. The Act also allows for the ACCC to advise the new Murray Darling Basin Authority on water trading rules.
The ACCC provided its final advice on the WICR, including draft WICR on 26 June 2009. Following this, the Minister wrote to the ACCC requesting further advice on the issue of accreditation of state agencies by the ACCC under the WICR.
The ACCC issued its draft advice on accreditation, including amended draft WICR, on 6 November 2009.