Water Industry in Queensland
Queensland's water supplies are owned and managed by over 170 registered service providers, including statutory water authorities such as the Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) and the Mt Isa Water Board (MIWB), SunWater, numerous local governments and associated commercialised entities, infrastructure companies, and water boards providing rural and urban water supply and drainage services.
SunWater is the largest single service provider in the State providing retail bulk and retail supply services to agricultural, industrial and rural urban users. It owns and operates 26 dams throughout the State.
The SEQ water industry is currently undergoing structural reform to facilitate the effective management of major infrastructure being developed in response to population growth and climate change.
Under the QCA Act, the Queensland Competition Authority's roles in relation to the water industry are to:
- investigate and report on the pricing practices of certain declared monopoly or near monopoly business activities of State and local governments;
- receive, investigate and report on competitive neutrality complaints;
- mediate and/or arbitrate access disputes and water supply disputes; and
- investigate and report on matters relevant to the implementation of competition policy (section 10(e) of the QCA Act).
A business activity may be declared a government monopoly business activity either by regulation or by Ministerial declaration.