The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given the go ahead for central Queensland coal producers to begin collective bargaining for water supply with SunWater.

The bargaining bloc will now include  Cockatoo Coal, Cuesta Coal, MetroCoal, Peabody Energy Australia PCI, QC Resource Investments and Whitehaven Coal and will given them rights for collective bargaining to source water from the Nathan Dam project in Queensland.

“The ACCC is satisfied that collective bargaining is likely to result in transaction cost savings and will help coal producers secure access to water supply from the Nathan Dam on a timely basis,” ACCC Commissioner Joe Dimasi said.

“This will support mining expansions in the Surat and Bowen Basins and is likely to reduce the risk of unnecessary delays in generating additional export revenue.”

The ACCC has said that it is satisfied that there is likely to be little, if any, public detriment generated by the collective bargaining for water supply.

Authorisation is granted for 23 years to cover initial contract negotiations and to allow any long term contracts to be given effect to.