Water trading

  • Water brokers and exchanges play an important role in the water market by bringing buyers and sellers together. They each have responsibilities and rules they must follow.
  • The Murray-Darling Basin Authority must get advice from the ACCC before it can amend the Basin Plan water trading rules.

What the ACCC does

  • We publish guides to help water brokers, water exchanges and their customers to understand their fair trading responsibilities.
  • We provide advice on the Basin Plan water trading rules to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
  • We enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the Australian Consumer Law, which applies to the behaviour of water brokers and water exchanges.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t set or enforce the Murray-Darling Basin Plan water trading rules. This is the responsibility of the Minister, on advice of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and the Inspector General of Water Compliance.
  • We don’t enforce water trading rules made by state governments.

We provide guidance to water brokers and water exchanges

About water brokers and exchanges

Water brokers and exchanges are sometimes referred to as water market intermediaries.

They play an important role in the water market bringing buyers and sellers together, reducing search costs and improving information flows.

Water brokers perform a similar function to mortgage brokers. On behalf of their clients, they:

  • investigate trading options
  • arrange the necessary paperwork
  • help obtain regulatory approvals.

Water exchanges are a trading platform. They:

  • match buyers and sellers through an automated process or bulletin board
  • organise and submit the necessary paperwork to trade approval authorities.

Guidance to help water brokers and water exchanges follow the law

The ACCC enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the Australian Consumer Law. This applies to the behaviour of water brokers and exchanges.

Our water trading guidance can help water brokers and exchanges follow the law. It also helps people understand their rights when dealing with a water broker or water exchange.

This publication will help brokers and exchanges understand their fair trading obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the CCA) when dealing with irrigators.
24 Mar 2011
This overview sets out the things you should think about when you are looking for a water exchange or water broker and the fair trading laws that protect you when you use their services.
18 Mar 2011
This publication is a comprehensive guide that will help irrigators understand their fair trading rights when dealing with brokers and exchanges.
24 Mar 2011

We give advice to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is responsible for:

Before the Murray-Darling Basin Authority can amend the Basin Plan water trading rules, it must get advice from the ACCC.

See Water trading rules: advice development.

See also

What the ACCC does in water

Water charge rules

Water market rules

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