ACCC accepts undertaking for interstate rail access

30 July 2008

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted an undertaking from the Australian Rail Track Corporation that provides for train services to access much of Australia's interstate rail track. 

The ACCC's decision on ARTC's Access Undertaking was issued today.

ARTC's undertaking sets out the principles and processes under which ARTC, as an infrastructure provider of rail, will be obliged to provide access to businesses wishing to run trains on ARTC's interstate rail network.

The ACCC's approval of ARTC's undertaking will allow rail operators to use the track and compete for rail business.

"More rail competition results in a less costly, improved transport service and that means lower delivered prices for goods, including exports," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today. "The ARTC undertaking is also important to promoting certainty of investment and growth within the rail freight industry over the coming decade.

"The undertaking is particularly important as continued growth in rail freight volumes and rail efficiency is likely to be of increasing significance to Australia's long-term competitiveness."

The undertaking has been assessed by the ACCC pursuant to Part IIIA s.44ZZA of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The ACCC approved ARTC's undertaking following an extensive public consultation process, including submissions from interested parties on the undertaking, submissions on the ACCC's draft decision, and submissions on earlier versions of the undertaking ARTC lodged with the ACCC in June and December 2007.

The ACCC completed its assessment within a tight timeframe, releasing its draft decision within four months of receiving ARTC's undertaking application and its final decision within three months of its draft decision.

Part IIIA allows infrastructure providers to submit a voluntary access undertaking to the ACCC for approval. An access undertaking allows access providers to obtain a degree of certainty about the terms and conditions on which access will be made available to their infrastructure and allows rail operators that are considering establishing new infrastructure to settle access matters before they invest.

Links

Release number: 
MR 217/08
ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.