The ACCC has determined that Murray Irrigation Limited breached the Water Charge (Infrastructure) Rules, however it has decided to resolve the matter administratively without enforcement action.
Between December 2016 and November 2018, Murray Irrigation Limited failed to publish all required information on the water charges it imposes under two agreements with non-irrigation customers, WaterNSW and the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s seventh annual Water Monitoring Report, covering 2015-16, shows the effects of structural changes in the Murray-Darling Basin rural water sector on regulated charges and terminations, transformations, and trades.
“This year’s report highlights that operators and customers are responding to change in a variety of ways,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
The ACCC provided its advice to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) on 10 October 2016. The MDBA publicly released this advice on 22 November 2016.
On 18 August 2016 the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) requested the ACCC’s advice on possible amendments to the Basin Plan water trading rules, which form Chapter 12 of the Basin Plan 2012 (Cth).
The ACCC provided its final advice to the Minister on 21 September 2016. The Minister publicly released this advice and on 15 November 2016 gave notice of his intention to repeal Part 5 of the Water Charge (Infrastructure) Rules 2010, consistent with the ACCC’s rule advice 5-L.
On 31 January 2017, the Minister made rules to repeal Part 5 of the Water Charge (Infrastructure) Rules 2010. This removed requirements on operators to produce five-yearly Network Service Plans, consultation papers and information statements. The amended rules commenced on 1 July 2017.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accepted an administrative resolution from Murrumbidgee Irrigation after it admitted to a breach of the Water Charge Infrastructure Rules (WCIR). Murrumbidgee Irrigation failed to include certain water service charges in its ‘Schedule of Charges’ between 2011 and 30 June 2016.