Held every winter, this conference brings together industry participants, policy makers, academics and regulators from around the world to hear and discuss the latest ideas about the theory and practice of regulation.

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2023 conference

Updates about the 2023 conference and other relevant information will be sent to the ACCC’s Regulatory Community email group. If you would like to be added to the group please email RegulatoryCommunity@accc.gov.au.

2022 conference

The 2022 ACCC and AER regulatory conference was held for the first time as a hybrid event in 2022 on Thursday 4 August and the morning of Friday 5 August at the W Hotel, 81 North Quay, Brisbane.


What does the future of regulation look like?

Conference program

The conference program provides details of each session.

Day 1: Thursday 4 August 2022

Times Session details Speakers

9–9:15 am

Acknowledgement of Country and opening remarks

Gina Cass-Gottlieb, Chair, ACCC

9:15–10:45 am

Future regulation of the electricity sector

The ESB has recently completed its review of the market design required for 2025. But many commentators say that more far-reaching reform will be required. Looking further ahead, what market design do we require for 2040 and beyond? What should we be building towards and why?

Chair: Clare Savage, Chair, AER


Severin Borenstein, Professor, UC Berkeley and E.T. Grether Chair in Business Administration and Public Policy

Severin Borenstein - Presentation ( PDF 997 KB )

James Bushnell, Professor of Economics, University of California Davis

James Bushnell - Presentation ( PDF 259.64 KB )

Lynne Gallagher, CEO, Energy Consumers Australia

10:45–11:15 am

Morning tea


11:15 am–12:45 pm

How best can we incorporate environmental objectives into economic regulation?

What is the impact of a changing climate on economic regulation? How should regulators accommodate uncertainty about the future? Should regulators seek to lead or drive transformation, or merely accommodate?

Chair: Catriona Lowe, Board Member, AER


Kellie Caught, Program Director – Climate and Energy, Australian Council of Social Service

Kellie Caught - Presentation ( PDF 1.02 MB )

John Thwaites, Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Climateworks Centre. Chair of Melbourne Water and a Director of Fair Trade Australia New Zealand. Chair of the National Sustainable Development Council

John Thwaites - Presentation ( PDF 156.69 KB )

Carmel Donnelly, Chair, Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW

Carmel Donnelly - Presentation ( PDF 415.33 KB )

12:45–2:00 pm



2:00–3:30 pm

Breakout sessions:

1A: Has our understanding of economic regulation changed over the last 30 years?

The ACCC was created in 1995. What have we learned about regulation since that time? Has the objective of economic regulation changed over that time? Do we need to apply different tools and processes to regulation in the 2020s? Our panel has many decades of experience between them and will reflect on the changes they have seen over their career.


Chair: Joe Dimasi, Senior Commissioner, (Chair) ICRC. Chair Tasmanian Economic Regulator


Joshua Gans, Jeffrey Skoll Chair in Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Joshua Gans - Presentation ( PDF 4.11 MB )

Henry Ergas, Economist

Sue Begg, Commissioner, New Zealand Commerce Commission

Sue Begg - Presentation ( PDF 1.61 MB )

Katrina Groshinski, Partner, MinterEllison

Katrina Groshinski - Presentation ( PDF 7.8 MB )

2:00–3:30 pm

Breakout sessions:

1B: Do we need ex ante regulation of digital platforms?

The appropriate regulation of digital platforms is a matter of considerable debate at present all around the world. While some believe new regulatory tools are required (including potentially ex ante regulation); others believe existing approaches are adequate, or that existing tools merely need to be applied more effectively. This session will involve debate over which approach is best for regulating digital platforms.


Chair: Liza Carver, Commissioner, ACCC


Dr Phillip Marsden, Professor of Law and Economics, College of Europe, Bruges; CRA, Europe

A/Prof John Yun, Professor, George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Dr Niamh Dunne, Associate Professor of Law, LSE Law School


3:30–4:00 pm



4:00–5:30 pm

Ethical business regulation – a panacea for regulatory capture?

The theory of regulatory capture and the threat the phenomenon presents has long shaped the approach of government regulators around the world. But are traditional ideas about the proper relationship between regulators and regulated businesses starting to lose favour or credibility? Is there evidence for an alternative approach to ensure regulators achieve the best possible outcomes for the communities they serve?

Ethical business regulation – a panacea for regulatory capture - Presentation ( PDF 5.39 MB )

Ethical business regulation – a panacea for regulatory capture - Hypothetical case study ( PDF 155.91 KB )

Chair: Rachel Burgess, Lecturer, University of Southern Queensland; Assistant Director, CLIP, ACCC


Dr Ruth Steinholtz, Founder, AretéWork and co-author of Ethical business and regulation

Dr Eva Heims, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics, University of York

Julie Abramson, Commissioner (P/T) Productivity Commission

6:00–7:00 pm Pre-dinner drinks  
7:00–10:30 pm Conference dinner  

Day 2: Friday 5 August 2022

Times Session details Speakers

9–10:15 am

Future regulation of digital platforms

Around the world digital platforms are in the spotlight for alleged anti-competitive practices. Many jurisdictions are calling for sector-specific regulation. But what regulation might be required and why?

Chair: Peter Crone, Commissioner, ACCC


Carl Shapiro, Professor, UC Berkeley and former DAAG for Economics Antitrust Division

Carl Shapiro - Presentation ( PDF 305.18 KB )

Catherine Tucker, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management Science and Professor of Marketing, MIT

Catherine Tucker - Presentation ( PDF 1017.67 KB )

10:15–10:45 am

Morning tea


10:45 am–12:00 pm

Breakout sessions:

2A: How behavioural insights can contribute to positive regulatory outcomes for consumers

Evidence-based policy grounded in a deep understanding of human judgement and decision making can contribute to good regulation. This session will discuss the specific role of behavioural insights in contributing to positive regulatory outcomes for consumers.

Chair: Sarah Proudfoot, Executive General Manager, Infrastructure Division


Rose Webb, Chair, ANZSOG National Regulators Community of Practice

Danielle Wood, CEO, Grattan Institute

Harry Greenwell, Senior Advisor, Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA)

Harry Greenwell - Presentation ( PDF 308.6 KB )

10:45 am–12:00 pm

Breakout sessions:

2B: Privatisation and appropriate regulatory settings

This session will examine the experience of privatisation and appropriate regulatory safeguards, considering two case studies – airports and the Sydney desalination plant.

Chair: Anna Brakey, Commissioner, ACCC


Graeme Samuel AC, Professor, Monash Business School representing A4ANZ

Catherine de Fontenay, Productivity Commission

Simon Uthmeyer Partner competition and regulation team DLA Piper

Iftekar Omar, General manager regulation, Sydney Desalination Plant

Anthony Rush, Director, Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal

12:00–12:50 pm


The final showdown of the conference will ask six of our conference speakers to think on their feet and tackle the topic 'a society designed by economists would be a utopia?'

Will they rise to the challenge, or crumble under the pressure?

You be the judge!

Chair: Justin Oliver, Board Member, AER


Rachel Burgess, Lecturer, University of Southern Queensland; Assistant Director, CLIP, ACCC

Nick Wills‑Johnson, Head of Economics, Australian Gas Industry Group (AGIG).

Joshua Gans, Jeffrey Skoll Chair in Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Catherine de Fontenay, Productivity Commission

Katrina Groshinski, Partner, MinterEllison

Mike Swanston, Principal Consultant, The Customer Advocate

12:50–1:00 pm

Conference close

Chair: Justin Oliver, Board Member, AER

1:00–2:00 pm Lunch  

Past conferences

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