Transport, Infrastructure & Other Industries

When the ACCC was created in 1995, it was given the task of regulating third party access to certain essential facilities under Part IIIA of the then Trade Practices Act (now the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, or CCA). It was also assigned a prices oversight role under the Prices Surveillance Act, since replaced by Part VIIA of the CCA. Later it assumed responsibility for the regulatory oversight of interstate rail services as the result of an agreement between the Commonwealth and States in 1997 to establish a single process for rail operators seeking access to the National Interstate rail network. This currently relates to around 13,000 route kilometres of interstate rail track operated by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), which was established in 1998.

The Infrastructure & Transport – Access & Pricing Branch (ITAP) is the branch which provides advice to the ACCC on the performance of these functions. It assists with regulating third party access to essential infrastructure services (other than energy, water and communications) under the National Access Regime, and undertakes certain prices oversight functions, including with respect to fuel. It also manages the ACCC’s role in regulating international liner cargo shipping services under Part X of the CCA.

One of the main functions of the ITAP Branch is to advise on the regulation of transport and general infrastructure access in industries with infrastructure or supply chain bottlenecks or limited competition. This includes assessing proposed access undertakings and arbitrating access disputes in industries such as freight rail and ports. In this capacity the ACCC has assessed access undertakings from the Australian Rail Track Corporation for its interstate and Hunter Valley rail networks. Until 2014 the ACCC also assessed access undertakings from the operators of bulk wheat export terminals at ports around Australia. Since September 2014 the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct has regulated the conduct of bulk wheat port terminal operators. The ACCC enforces the Code and also has certain specific roles in relation to exemptions and capacity allocation systems.

The other major component of ITAP’s work is prices oversight. It provides the ACCC with assessments of various pricing proposals such as price increases by: (i) Australia Post for reserved letter services; (ii) Sydney Airport for services to regional airlines; and (iii) Airservices Australia (a government-owned corporation which provides air traffic control and aviation fire-fighting and rescue services to airports and airlines).

The Branch also has responsibility for monitoring prices, costs and profits, and quality of service, in various industries including: (i) container terminal operator companies at the major Australian ports; (ii) aeronautical services and facilities and car parking at the major airports; (iii) Australia Post for cross-subsidies between its reserved and non-reserved letter services; and (iv) Australian petroleum products.

In relation to the Australian petroleum industry the ACCC conducted a formal inquiry into the price of unleaded petrol in 2007, following which the ACCC was given a Ministerial direction to monitor and report annually on the prices, costs and profits of unleaded petroleum products in Australia. In 2014 a new Ministerial direction was given to the ACCC to report at least quarterly on Australian petrol prices. Since 2014 the ACCC has also been asked to undertake detailed market studies in certain regional petrol markets in Australia.

The ITAP Branch assists other branches of the ACCC with relevant enforcement, mergers, authorisations and notifications matters. It also contributes to the broader work of the Infrastructure Regulation Division in the development of general regulatory principles and practices, and leading whole-of-Commission approaches to seamless supply chains, and pro-competition advocacy on issues such as the privatisation of monopoly infrastructure assets.

Operational Information

The following operational information contains further information on the work of the Infrastructure & Transport – Access & Pricing Branch.

Arbitrations: A guide to resolution of access disputes under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

This document contains guidelines regarding general operation and applicability of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 incorporating the National Access Regime:
Arbitrations: A guide to resolution of access disputes under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 

Guidelines relating to deferral of arbitrations and backdating of determinations under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

The purpose of these guidelines is to explain how the ACCC might apply the provisions on deferral of arbitrations and backdating of final determinations when making decisions under Part IIIA:
Guidelines relating to deferral of arbitrations and backdating of determinations under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

Container Stevedoring Monitoring Reports

The Container Stevedoring Monitoring Reports contain stevedoring monitoring results as well as the methodology behind these reports:
Container Stevedoring Monitoring Reports

Airport Monitoring Guidelines

Airport Monitoring Guidelines are available at the following link:
Airport monitoring guidelines

Airport Prices Monitoring And Financial Reporting Guideline

The guideline details the ACCC's information requirements for prices monitoring and financial reporting, including for airport car parking, under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the Airports Act 1996. The guideline applies from the 2008–09 financial year.

Airport prices monitoring and financial reporting guideline

Airport Monitoring Report

This report presents the results of the ACCC's price, financial reporting and quality of service monitoring for aeronautical services and car parking for the following airports:

  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne (Tullamarine)
  • Perth
  • Sydney (Kingsford Smith)

The Airport Monitoring Reports contain monitoring results as well as the methodology behind these reports.

Airport monitoring report 2016-17

Airport monitoring report 2015-16

Airport monitoring report 2014-15

Airport monitoring report 2013-14

Airport monitoring report 2012-13

Statement of Regulatory Approach to Assessing Price Notifications

This document outlines the ACCC's preferred approach to undertaking a price notification assessment:
Statement of Regulatory Approach to Assessing Price Notifications

Assessing cross-subsidy in Australia Post 2012-13

The Postal Services Legislation Amendment Act 2004 introduced measures that allow the ACCC to require Australia Post to keep records and to provide those records to the ACCC. This information is used to enable the ACCC to fulfill its responsibilities in relation to postal services. One of the purposes of the ‘record keeping rule’ is to enable the ACCC to assess whether Australia Post was unfairly competing by using revenue from its reserved services to cross-subsidise the services it provides in competition with other businesses.

The ACCC issued a report each year of its analysis of Australia Post's regulatory accounts for the preceding year (from 2004-05 until the 2014-15 year), to determine whether Australia Post has used revenue from its ‘reserved’ (statutory monopoly) letter services to cross-subsidise its non-reserved services. This report has been discontinued from 2015-16.

Assessing cross-subsidy in Australia Post 2012-13

Australia Post - Guide to bulk mail disputes

Regulations made under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 allow the ACCC to inquire into disputes about the terms and conditions, including price of access to Australia Post’s bulk mail services.

Guide to bulk mail disputes

Process guidelines for making & revoking exemption determinations

The Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct that commenced on 30 September 2014 provides for an exemption process whereby a port terminal service provider may be exempted from certain provisions of the Code in relation to a specified port terminal facility.

These guidelines set out the ACCC’s process for considering whether to make an exemption determination.

Process guidelines for making revoking exemption determinations

Process guidelines for approving capacity allocation systems

The Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct that commenced on 30 September 2014 provides for the ACCC to have a role approving the capacity allocation system used by a port terminal service provider.

These guidelines set out the ACCC’s process for considering whether or not to approve a capacity allocation system.

Process guidelines for approving capacity allocation systems

Part IIIA access undertaking guidelines

The Part IIIA access undertaking guidelines provide information on submitting, varying or withdrawing an access undertaking pursuant to Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Part IIIA access undertaking guidelines

Bulk wheat ports monitoring reports

Reports into the bulk wheat port export activity.

Bulk wheat ports monitoring report 2016-17

Bulk wheat ports monitoring report 2015-16

Hunter Valley Access Undertaking

This access undertaking is for the provision of access to the Hunter Valley Rail Network operated by Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd in New South Wales.

Hunter Valley Access Undertaking 2017

June 2017 variation of the 2011 Hunter Valley Access Undertaking

Interstate Rail access undertaking 2018

December 2017 variation of the 2011 Hunter Valley access undertaking

2011 Hunter Valley Access Undertaking 2015 Annual Compliance Assessment

Documents

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