This submission to the Productivity Commission argues that the National Access Regime is a costly, time-consuming and highly complex policy with many potential risks in its application.
It emphasises that the inquiry’s recommendations must:
- strike the right balance between competition and investment incentives and making sure the benefits of the regime clearly exceed its costs
- promote investment by enhancing certainty for investors
- reduce the costs and risks that stem from inefficient procedures, poor decision making and regulatory failures.
The submission argues that Council of Australian Governments Competition and Infrastructure Reform Agreement 2006 would seem to have delivered mixed results and cannot be said to have delivered on its objective of promoting ‘enhanced application’ of competitive neutrality.
The Productivity Commission review creates an opportunity to start a national discussion about the need to update and refresh competition policies relating to infrastructure. Governments should recommit to national competition policies that remain relevant to today’s economic circumstances, and identify and pursue new reforms that will ensure infrastructure provision and use is growing economic output, lifting productivity and improving living standards.