Daryl Quinlivan has been appointed Principal Advisor on a panel aimed at improving Murray-Darling Basin water markets in a move that is hoped will provide greater confidence to irrigators and regional communities.
Previously Mr Quinlivan has worked in a number of senior roles in the Australian Public Service, more notably as a former Agriculture and Water Resources Department Secretary.
The panel will examine the recommendations of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry report on Murray-Darling Basin water markets released in March 2021
According to Mr Quinlivan, his focus will be on improving water market performance without adding unnecessary costs and regulatory burdens on users.
"I am looking forward to getting on with the job and developing a roadmap that can inform the Australian Government's approach to this critical piece of public policy," Mr Quinlivan said.
Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said that Mr Quinlivan would work closely with Basin states to develop a water market reform roadmap to improve the governance, structure, and operation of Murray-Darling Basin water markets.
"We have been listening to communities in the Murray-Darling Basin to ensure we deliver practical solutions so water markets operate more effectively and efficiently," Minister Pitt said.
All is not smooth sailing however with Member for Murray, Helen Dalton criticising the decision to appoint advisory members to assess inquiry recommendations.
"What we need is law changes immediately to fix our broken water market," Mrs Dalton said.
"We don't need more panels, talkfests and inquiries."
According to Mrs Dalton, the state government should be acting now and not delay.
"The ACCC have made some clear recommendations, state government should be changing their laws now to implement them," Mrs Dalton said.
"I'm not waiting for this panel. I have already drafted a bill that implements the ACCC's key recommendations in NSW.
"I'll be releasing the draft for public consultation soon. I hope the Government supports it.
"We need action, not panels."Member for Murray Helen Dalton
The remainder of the 9 member expert panel that will be assisting Mr Quinlivan inform the Australian Government response to the ACCC final inquiry report is in the process of being finalised and will be announced shortly.
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