The ACCC has set the goalposts for its new water inquiry.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released an issues paper for its probe of water trading in the Murray-Darling Basin.

It has also opened up the registry to attend public hearings.

The probe will examine how irrigators, investors, water brokers, water exchanges, water registries and others use market information, and whether water markets are sufficiently transparent.

The ACCC will examine allegations that non-farming speculators are sending prices skyrocketing.

Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh says Australia relies on effective operation of the markets.

“We are also aware there are a range of concerns about these markets,” he said.

The inquiry will also look at:

  • How the practices and behaviours of different market participants and interested parties impact markets
  • How market regulation, regulatory agencies and policy differences between states and trading zones have affected markets
  • How competition has changed over time

Public forums will be held throughout Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Queensland during November.

An interim report is expected by the end of May 2020.