The National Water Commission’s final comprehensive review of the National Water Initiative (Triennial Assessment) will be launched in Canberra today.

The Triennial National Water Reform Assessment provides an independent analysis of the progress of Australian governments in implementing national water reforms, particularly the National Water Initiative. 

“Since the National Water Initiative was agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments in 2004, its implementation has delivered significant and tangible progress for Australia,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. 

“Ten years on, water users, communities and industries around the country can attest to the benefits of proper management of water resources, supporting resilient communities, healthy ecosystems and economic development.

“A journey of this length allows us to reflect on our successes as well as identify areas for continued improvement, so we welcome the thorough analysis that has gone into the delivery of the National Water Commission’s final review,” said Senator Birmingham. 

In preparing its report, the Commission consulted extensively with state and territory governments, the Australian Government and industry stakeholders. The Commission also obtained direct community input through a public submission process and dedicated stakeholder forums.

“The Australian Government will carefully consider the information presented in the assessment report, which traverses issues of great importance to further improving water management,” said Senator Birmingham. 

“I can assure you our Government will not backtrack on water reform, we will ensure progress on reform is reported transparently and independently.

“We are tasking the Productivity Commission with the responsibility of undertaking future triennial assessments of water reform and auditing the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full and on time. 

“Through these reforms I look forward to increasingly rigorous monitoring and auditing of our countries progress towards implementation of the National Water Initiative principles.

“I thank the staff of the National Water Commission and all the Commissioners for their contribution in the preparation of the National Water Commission’s final Triennial Assessment,” said Senator Birmingham.