With the commencement of the Water Act 2007 (Water Act), the Australian Government took on new responsibilities relating to the regulation of rural water pricing in the Murray-Darling Basin.
These include new powers related to:
- Fees and charges payable to an irrigation infrastructure operator;
- Bulk water charges;
- Charges for water planning and water management activities; and
- Fees and charges specified under regulations.
The rules require that wherever a Basin government or agency sets a charge to recover the costs of water planning and management activities, the government or agency must:
- Publish detailed information about the charge; and
- Disclose the process and basis for setting the charge.
From 1 July, 2011, government entities that determine water planning and management charges will need to publish information on these charges in accordance with the requirements of the rules. More information on the rules can be found on the ACCC website
In Victoria, the Minister of Water determines an Environmental Contribution which is levied on all Victorian water businesses. The Governor in Council determines the charges associated with water shares, water allocations and related dealings as well as transactions relevant to the water register. These charges are levied to fund various water planning and management activities captured by the rules. Information on these charges as well as the process and basis for setting these charges is provided in accordance with the rules as follows: