Application for certification of the South Australian water infrastructure access regime

On 22 May 2017, the Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, made his decision to certify the South Australian water access regime as effective, for a period of ten years. The decision is consistent with the Council's final recommendation. Copies of the Treasurer’s decision and statement of reasons and the Council's final recommendation are available under the Final recommendation and decision tab.


On 11 November 2016, the NCC received an application under section 44M of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) from the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Jay Weatherill MP, for certification of the South Australian third-party access regime for water infrastructure services (Regime). Certification was sought for specified bulk water transport pipelines operated by SA Water set out in Part 9A of the Water Industry Act 2012 (SA).

The Regime was established on 1 July 2016 by the insertion of Part 9A in the Water Industry Act 2012 (SA). The services covered by the Regime are set out in the Water Industry (Third Party Access) Proclamation 2016.

In essence, the Regime establishes a negotiate-arbitrate framework for access seekers. It requires SA Water to provide specific information to access seekers, on a non-discriminatory basis, to help them formulate an access proposal. If the parties cannot agree on the terms and conditions of access, a party may refer the dispute to the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) who will seek to resolve the dispute by conciliation. If the dispute is not resolved by conciliation, ESCOSA may refer it to independent arbitration.

A copy of the application and the relevant legislation is available under the Application tab to the left. The Council invited interested parties to make written submissions on the application by 19 December 2016. The Council did not receive any submissions.

The Council published its draft recommendation on 3 March 2017, with submission closing on Monday 20 March 2017. The Council did not receive any submissions.

The Council provided its final recommendation to the Commonwealth Minister on 22 March 2017.

If you would like to be kept informed of developments with the application, please download and complete the Registration of Interest form below and email it to

Registration of Interest (RTF, 306KB)