The Australian Government today announced an independent review of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme and its Water Efficiency and Labelling Standards (WELS) Act (2005) and other associated legislation.

Due to report in June 2015, the review will pay particular attention to identifying opportunities to simplify red tape and regulatory requirements placed on business.

“In line with the Abbott Government’s overall deregulation agenda the review will look at whether WELS is the most efficient and effective way to provide consumers information on water efficiency while minimising costs for business,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment. 

“This review will seek to ensure that we have the balance right, where consumers are empowered with the best knowledge to conserve water without red tape that unnecessarily drives up the cost of products ranging from taps to washing machines.

“I am delighted that experienced industry executive, Mr Tom Mollenkopf, is able to head the review.

“Mr Mollenkopf has held leadership roles in the water sector in Australia and overseas, including six years as CEO of the Australian Water Association, Deputy Executive Director of the International Water Association and Director at South East Water in Melbourne. 

“Mr Mollenkopf brings a wealth of public and private expertise to the role and is well placed to work with the water industry and engage directly with businesses ‘affected’ as well as consumer and environment stakeholders throughout the review.

“I encourage everyone with an interest in WELS to get involved,” Senator Birmingham said. 

Introduced nearly a decade ago as a joint government and business programme, WELS aims to improve water use and efficiency by providing point of sale information, or star ratings, about the water consumption of products such as taps, showers and washing machines.

More information on the review, including Terms of Reference go to