Water Pricing Engagement in Victoria: A prem(o)ium accountability regime

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


In the ‘regulatory’ state in Australia the quasi-independent institutions appointed to manage the water industry face the challenge of balancing the social, environmental and economic needs for water in the driest inhabited continent on earth. This paper investigates accountability regimes in the corporatized water industry by investigating a proposed PREMO model to improve the accountability of water businesses to their customers in the state of Victoria. This paper adopts a deliberative democratic lens through which to reflect on how well customer engagement proposals such as PREMO will enable increased transparency and improved accountability in water management policy and water pricing for Victorian water consumers. Whilst applauding the intent of the regulator the paper identifies some problematic features of the ‘accountability’ regime embedded within PREMO and forewarns that the regulator must be wary of simply using ‘accountability’ as simply an evocative political word without real substance. This paper responds to numerous calls for research into accountability in the burgeoning regulatory state where decision-making and accountability has been delegated from democratic institutions to non-democratic quasi-autonomous regulatory institutions. Accountability is important in the regulated state because the civil space in which regulators operate is never apolitical and regulators must adjudicate, and be accountable, on issues that engage opposing political and private interests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th Australasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference
Subtitle of host publicationBook of abstracts
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event16th Australasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference: A-CSEAR 2017 - Sofitel Resort and Spa, Denarau, Nadi, Fiji
Duration: 06 Dec 201708 Dec 2017
https://www.usp.ac.fj/index.php?id=20840 (Conference website)


Conference16th Australasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference
CityDenarau, Nadi
OtherThe annual A-CSEAR conference provides an international forum and showcase for research on the social and environmental aspects of accounting theory and practice. It also fosters and supports interdisciplinary research in accounting.

A-CSEAR is a thriving regional community within the Centre for Social and Environmental Research (CSEAR).
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