This article examines problems that occurred as a result of the Queensland government’s restructuring of the State’s water industry from 2006 onwards. It focuses on the experience on the Gold Coast, where the forced transfer of water retail and wastewater services from the Gold Coast City Council (‘GCCC’) to a regional water retailer, the Southern SEQ Distributor-Retailer Authority, trading as Allconnex.

Water (‘Allconnex’), was quickly followed by a large increase in the price of water, causing an extensive public outcry. Ultimately, the Queensland government was forced to grant city councils the option of resuming control over water from the new regional distributor-retailers. The GCCC voted to withdraw from Allconnex on 26 July 2011 and Allconnex ceased to exist on 1 July 2012.