Sunwater: Part 6 exemption consultation

Closed 17 Nov 2021

Opened 3 Nov 2021


On 27 October 2021, the ACCC formed the view that Sunwater is a Part 6 operator. This means that the ACCC will be required to regulate Sunwater’s infrastructure charges for six water supply schemes under Part 6 of the Water Charge Rules 2010 (WCR) unless the ACCC grants Sunwater an exemption. The six schemes are Chinchilla Weir, Cunnamulla, Macintyre Brook, Maranoa River, St George and Upper Condamine Water Supply Schemes.

The ACCC is seeking stakeholder views to help it decide if it should grant Sunwater an exemption from the ACCC approving and determining Sunwater's infrastructure charges in these supply schemes.


Under the WCR, if an infrastructure operator meets the revised definition of a 'Part 6 operator' outlined in Rule 23, the ACCC will now be required to approve or determine the infrastructure operator’s regulated water charges, unless the ACCC grants the operator an exemption. The ACCC may only grant an exemption under Rule 23C if it is satisfied that the application of the Part 6 requirements would not materially contribute to the achievement of the Basin water charging objectives and principles set out in Schedule 2 of the Water Act 2007. In making an exemption decision, the ACCC must have regard to a number of factors, including:

  • the total volume of water access rights in relation to which bulk water services are provided by the operator
  • the total volume of water subject to water sharing arrangements in relation to which the operator provides infrastructure services
  • the infrastructure services provided by the operator
  • any preferences expressed by the operator’s customers to the ACCC
  • any other views expressed by a State Agency to the ACCC
  • whether the relevant law of a State is being transitioned so that the operator’s infrastructure charges will at a future date be determined or approved by a single State Agency in a way that is consistent with paragraph 29(2)(b) of the WCR
  • the proportion of the infrastructure operator’s revenue to be recovered from infrastructure charges
  • any other matters that the ACCC considers relevant.

The Water Charge Rules 2010 and Water Act 2007 are available at the Federal Register of Legislation:

How to make a submission

The ACCC prefers submissions to be provided via this consultation hub. 

Submissions may be addressed to:

Water Regulation and Compliance
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3131

Consultation opens: Wednesday 3 November 2021

Consultation closes: Wednesday 17 November 2021


Please note this consultation is being conducted publicly and as such, submissions will be treated as public documents and published unless a claim of confidentiality is made and accepted, or a submission is withdrawn.

Please mark any information that you believe to be of a confidential nature, and provide reasons why this information should be treated confidentially. If the ACCC accepts your confidentiality claim, it will not publish or disclose the confidential information to third parties, other than advisors or consultants engaged directly by the ACCC, without first endeavouring to provide you with notice of its intention to do so, wherever possible, such as where it is compelled to do so by law.

If the ACCC rejects your confidentiality claim, you will be given the opportunity to withdraw your submission before it is published, or any information is disclosed.

The ACCC’s information policy includes information on the collection and disclosure of information.


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  • Water
  • Water Charge Rules