Federal Minister for Small Business, the Hon, Bruce Bilson MP, has released the Final Report on the country’s Competition Policy Review, headed by Prof Ian Harper, which makes 56 recommendations for reforms across three key themes: competition policy, laws and institutions.
The review intends to reinvigorate competition, to help raise Australia’s productivity levels and living standards as well as meeting current economic challenges and opportunities.
Water Services Association Australia (WSAA) welcomes the recommendation by the Harper Review (recommendation 20) that all governments should progress implementation of the principles of the National Water Initiative and focus on strengthening economic regulation in urban water. The Final Report also recognises that all reform needs to be in the long term interest of customers.
WSAA welcomes the call on Governments to progress the implementation of the NWI, and WSAA continues to call for the NWI to be expanded for urban water and to include market structure amongst other things.
WSAA agrees with the Review’s recommendation that state and territory regulators develop best-practice pricing guidelines and that this be overseen by the proposed Australian Council for Competition Policy, a current pricing guidelines have not been adequate to encourage consistency across jurisdictions.
WSAA looks forward to engaging with all governments on the implementation of the Harper Review recommendation relating to urban water.
Access full report here.