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Norton Rose Fulbright
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Hydro energy

When it comes to advising our clients in the water sector, we deliver first-hand expertise and industry knowledge gained from our extensive experience in managing a variety of legal issues for key sector participants.

Our lawyers have a clear and very up-to-date understanding of Commonwealth and State government water policies, the overarching trends in the water sector, and the political, economic, social and legal environments in which the sector operates. Our wealth of experience has made us the law firm of choice, having advised on water industry issues over many years for a broad range of government, public and private clients including water supply authorities and irrigation entities.

Our water services

We have the technical expertise, capability and experience to meet the challenges of any water sector legal issue. We have advised on a broad range of issues including:

  • National water market: impacts of the National Water Initiative with regard to water rights, markets and trading, pricing and fees
  • Murray-Darling Basin: impacts of the Water Act 2007 and the development and implementation of the Water Trading Rules, Water Market Rules and Water Charge Rules
  • State laws: water access entitlement dealing principles, water sharing plans, and the rights and obligations of water access licences, operating licences, water management work approvals, controlled activity approvals and environment protection licences
  • Water trading: legal frameworks and documentation for emerging water markets, permanent and temporary transfers, conversions, leases and options of water access entitlements and annual allocations in various States
  • Contractual relationships: standard-form customer contracts and policies, and complex commercial contracts for customised water transactions
  • Delivery rights: contractual and policy changes required to unbundle delivery rights from water rights
  • Security over water rights: taking security for payment over water rights and land
  • Competition: competition laws affecting the water sector, third party access regimes, competition in pricing and reviews by independent pricing regulators
  • Disputes: options for dealing with water-related legal disputes including those concerning metering, billing and theft
  • Water infrastructure: planning and delivering water infrastructure projects, including governance mechanisms, environmental assessment, licensing and approval requirements and compliance
  • Pollution and environmental incidents: responses to incidents and legal requirements including duties to notify, responding to notices, audits and licence compliance, assisting in investigations and representation in the event of prosecutions
  • Contamination: liability for and clean up of contamination, and recent amendments to the Contaminated Land Management Act 1987, legal obligations and risk management strategies.