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National Access Regime (2013)

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final report was sent to Government on 25 October 2013 and released on 11 February 2014.

The Australian Government asked the Commission to undertake a 12 month inquiry into the National Access Regime.

The Regime is intended to promote the economically efficient operation of, use of and investment in the infrastructure by which services are provided, thereby promoting effective competition in upstream and downstream markets.

As part of the National Reform Agenda, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) signed the Competition and Infrastructure Reform Agreement (CIRA) to provide for a simpler and more consistent national system of economic regulation for nationally significant infrastructure, including for ports, railways and other key infrastructure. Clause 8.1 of the CIRA provides that once it has operated for five years, the Parties will review its operation and terms.

In reporting on the Regime and the CIRA, the Commission was to:

  • examine the rationale, role and objectives of the Regime, and Australia's overall framework of access regulation
  • assess the performance of the Regime in meeting its rationale and objectives
  • report on whether the implementation of the Regime adequately ensures that its economic efficiency objectives are met
  • provide advice on ways to improve processes and decisions for facilitating third party access to essential infrastructure
  • review the effectiveness of the reforms outlined in the CIRA, and the actions and reforms undertaken by governments in giving effect to the CIRA
  • comment on other relevant policy measures, including any non-legislative approaches, which would help ensure effective and responsive delivery of infrastructure services over both the short and long term.

The Commission undertook an appropriate public consultation process including holding hearings, inviting public submissions and releasing a draft report.

Further information

Key documents