Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Government response to Productivity Commission report on the Review of the National Access Regime.



Download PDFDownload PDF

TREASURER

www.treasurer.gov.au

PRESS RELEASE

NO. 009

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REPORT ON THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL ACCESS REGIME

The Treasurer has announced the Australian Government’s final response to the Productivity Commission's Report on the Review of the National Access Regime (‘the Regime’). An interim response was released on 17 September 2002.

The Government endorses the majority of the Commission's 33 recommendations and agrees that scope exists for improvements to the Regime. This includes, for example, making changes to clarify the Regime's objectives and scope, encourage efficient investment in new infrastructure, strengthen incentives for commercial negotiation and improve the certainty and transparency of regulatory processes.

The changes being proposed by the Government provide a balance between ensuring a means for business to gain access to infrastructure while providing incentives for new investment in essential infrastructure. The changes are also designed to provide access seekers and investors with confidence and certainty about the regulatory framework so they are able to make well informed decisions.

The Australian Government has consulted with all jurisdictions in developing its final response. These processes have been constructive, enabling some clarification and improvements to the response. Overall, jurisdictions largely supported the interim response and there have been no significant changes in the final response.

The Australian Government will now introduce into Parliament the legislative changes that give effect to the final response. Following this, the Australian Government will consult further with jurisdictions to take forward appropriate changes to Clause 6 of the Competition Principles Agreement, as foreshadowed in the Government’s response.

The final response defers a number of the Productivity Commission recommendations to the Review of the Gas Access Regime. The Productivity Commission’s Review of the Gas Access Regime is scheduled to report to Government in June 2004. The Government will consider the recommendations of this review at that time and will be mindful of any implications for the National Access Regime.

The Government's final response to the report is available at http://www.treasurer.gov.au.

CANBERRA 20 February 2004

Contact: David Alexander 02 6277 7340