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Inquiry seeking answers to water market flaws

The competition watchdog will have access to compulsory information in its inquiry into the Murray Darling Basin Water Markets.

The investigation will seek to improve the efficiency, and transparency of the market.

It will also examine changes in water use, carryover water, and the effect of water speculators on the market.

ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh told Macquarie’s Rural Reporter Eddie Summerfield, the inquiry will speak with a broad range of stakeholders, and those impacted by the water trade.

“That will provide a very comprehensive picture of the movement of water, and the trade that’s occurring in water,” Mr Keogh said.

“It’s not just a single market operating in relation to the Murray Darling Basin there’s many, many multiple separate markets, and within those markets, there’s multiple products, then those products change over time.”

An interim report will be provided to the government in early 2020, with the final findings expected by the end of the year.

“Our role is to simply look at how the water market is operating, is it operating in a way you’d expect? Is competition able to occur? Are there unfair trading practices occurring, for example, that disadvantage particular players?” Mr Keogh said.

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