Independent Review of the Water Act 2007


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

On 12 May 2014, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator Simon Birmingham, announced an independent review of the Water Act 2007 (Cth) (the Act).

Focus of the Review

This was the first review of the Act since it commenced on 3 March 2008. In accordance with section 253 of the Act and its terms of reference, the review assessed the operation of the Act, the extent to which its objects have been achieved and opportunities to minimise regulatory burden imposed on the water industry, water managers and irrigators.

Expert Panel

The review was undertaken by an independent Expert Panel led by Mr Eamonn Moran PSM QC (Chair) and supported by Mr Peter Anderson, Mr Gavin McMahon and Dr Steve Morton.

Public Consultation

Extensive consultation was undertaken to inform the review’s findings.

Interested parties were invited to make submissions between 26 May 2014 and 4 July 2014. The 73 public submissions made are available below.

The Expert Panel also conducted early meetings with peak bodies and all states and territories; and interactive roundtable discussions with groups from a range of sectors, including industry, environment, Indigenous and community groups and governments.

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Review Report

The Parliamentary Secretary received the Review Report on 24 November 2014 and it was tabled out of session on 19 December 2014. The Report made 23 recommendations and 30 conclusions relevant to the terms of reference.

Government Response

The Australian Government is currently considering the Expert Panel’s recommendations and will provide a response shortly. Recommendations 11 and 18 have already been accepted by the Government.


If you have any questions about the review, please contact the Water Act Review Secretariat at: