Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Parliament passes National Water Commission Amendment Bill

Media release
21 June 2012

The National Water Commission (NWC) will continue its important role overseeing the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national water reform agenda, following Parliament’s passage today of the National Water Commission Amendment Bill 2012.

Welcoming the passage of the Bill, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the Gillard Government had delivered on its commitment to continue the National Water Commission.

“The NWC will continue in its role as an independent statutory body providing transparent assurance on all governments’ progress in meeting their commitments under the National Water Initiative (NWI) and other important water reforms, including our vital Murray-Darling Basin reforms,” Senator Farrell said.

“With the passage of this legislation, the Commission will continue as an expert and independent agency, which brings a body of knowledge and experience to bear on addressing key challenges in the ongoing implementation of the COAG water reform agenda”.

An independent review of the NWC conducted last year – as required by the National Water Commission Act 2004 – recommended that the NWC should continue for the life of the National Water Initiative.

In April, COAG agreed to retain the NWC with a focus on the functions of audit, monitoring and assessment of water reform.

“The Australian Government remains firmly committed to national water reform, including the delivery and implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the full and effective implementation of the NWI,” Senator Farrell said.

“The continuation of the NWC means it will have an ongoing role in overseeing all governments’ progress on achieving water reforms under the NWI.