Water trading rules: advice to the Murray Darling Basin Authority about section 12.02

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On 3 March 2020, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) requested the ACCC provide advice on the operation of sub-sections 12.02(2) to (4) of the Basin Plan water trading rules (the 12.02 provisions), to inform its review of these provisions by 1 July 2020, as required under the Basin Plan 2012 (Cth). The MDBA is also responsible for enforcing the Basin Plan water trading rules, which form Chapter 12 of the Basin Plan 2012 (Cth).

The 12.02 provisions allow Basin States, if certain conditions are met, to restrict the trade of water access rights so that only held environmental water is permitted to be traded between places.

This document provides the ACCC’s advice to the MDBA. The ACCC provided this advice to the MDBA on 1 June 2020, following a review of information regarding the movement and trade of Held Environmental Water. The ACCC conducted this review between March and June 2020. The ACCC’s advice does not constitute or include investigations of compliance with the Basin Plan water trading rules.

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