The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a revised guide which aims to better inform irrigators and irrigation infrastructure operators about their termination fee rights and obligations.


"As a result of feedback from industry, the revised guide includes more information about the requirement for a written notice of termination," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.


"The guide also provides more details on how to calculate the total network access charge, which is a key concept in determining the maximum permissible termination fee."


The Water Act 2007 provides the ACCC with powers to enforce compliance with the Water Charge (Termination Fees) Rules 2009 and other water rules.


As part of this role the ACCC provides guidance to operators and irrigators to assist them to understand when operators are permitted to charge termination fees and how to calculate the maximum permissible termination fee.


Operators may be entitled to charge terminating irrigators a fee but, if they do so, they need to ensure that they have met the requirements of the rules, including not exceeding the maximum permissible termination fee.


"While the guide has been updated, the requirements of the rules are not new: if you are going to impose a termination fee, you need to make sure it is right," Mr Sims said.


The ACCC will continue to engage with the irrigation industry and develop further guidance materials for consumers and industry.


The revised publication A guide to the water charge (termination fees) rules is available on the ACCC’s website at


Comments on this publication or inquiries about the Water Charge (Termination Fees) Rules 2009 can be directed to the ACCC by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the ACCC’s Infocentre on 1300 302 502.

The ACCC also monitors termination fees imposed by operators and reports on industry trends in its annual monitoring report. The 2010-11 monitoring report is due out in April 2012.