Independent review of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme

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Guest, C., 2010

The WELS scheme completed its fifth year of operation in 2009-10. Consistent with the requirements of section 76 of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005, an independent review of the scheme's five years of operation was undertaken. The review was required to consider the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the scheme and made recommendations for its improvement.

In consultation with the states and territories, the then Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP appointed Dr Chris Guest to undertake the review. Dr Guest released a discussion paper and consulted with stakeholders from the state and territory governments as well as water utilities, industry and consumer representatives. Public submissions were invited over a four-week period from April to May 2010 with 28 submissions received.

Final report and joint governments' response to the review

The final report on the review was completed on 30 June 2010 and has now been tabled in both Houses of Parliament. On 30 November 2011 the Standing Council on Environment and Water released a joint governments' response to the review.

About the Review

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme was reviewed as required by the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.

The scheme mandates that specified household water-using products be registered and labelled for their water efficiency. Products currently included in the scheme are washing machines, dishwashers, showers, taps, toilets and urinals. Flow controllers are currently included in the scheme on a voluntary basis. The Australian Government administers the scheme in cooperation with state and territory governments, which have complementary legislation to ensure national coverage.

Terms of reference

Terms of reference (PDF - 45.18 KB) | (RTF - 849.05 KB)

Discussion paper

Discussion paper (PDF - 623.2 KB)  | (DOC - 492.5 KB)

Independent reviewer

Dr Chris Guest was engaged to undertake the review. Dr Guest has extensive water and natural resource management experience, including leading the negotiation of the referral of powers by Murray Darling Basin states to the Commonwealth in relation to Basin water planning and management, and design and implementation of the National Water Market System. Also he was General Manager of Regulatory Strategy and Reform for the Sydney Water Corporation and Deputy Director-General the NSW Cabinet Office.

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