ACCC approves revised Victorian gas access arrangements

18 December 1998
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has approved revised Victorian access arrangements for the natural gas transmission pipelines.

On 6 October 1998, the ACCC issued its decision to not grant approval to the access arrangements without certain amendments being completed. In response, the Energy Projects Division, Victorian Treasury, on behalf of the service providers, submitted revised access arrangements to the ACCC on 30 November 1998.

Following its review, the ACCC is satisfied that the revised transmission access arrangements incorporate the amendments specified in the October 1998 decision. The ACCC's decisions on the access arrangements have been made within the framework of the Victorian Gas Access Code, and relate only to the established Victorian gas transmission pipelines. They should not be regarded as a precedent to be applied to other pipelines or assets in other industries, which have their own risk profiles.

'The approval marks the completion of the ACCC's first approval of gas transmission access arrangement under the Victorian Code, and in effect under the National Code,' ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. 'The ACCC is pleased that all the amendments it specified in its earlier decision have now been incorporated.

'It is important to reiterate that, while the issue of the appropriate regulated rate of return has generated much debate during the process, the arrangements that have now been approved are based on incentive regulation using a CPI-X price path. The incentive mechanisms provided for allow the utility owner to earn a return in excess of the nominated rate of return by retaining the benefits in the next four years resulting from market growth and efficiency improvements and refinancing benefits.

'Consumers should benefit from the reforms to the Victorian gas industry through improvements in efficiency and increased competition, and through reduced transmission charges beginning 1 January 1999'.

Copies of the ACCC's Final Approval and revised access arrangements will be available on the ACCC Internet website (http://www.accc.gov.au). Requests for further information on the access arrangements or hard copies should be directed to Transmission Pipelines Australia and VENCorp.

For further information about this media release: Professor Allan Fels, Chairman, ACCC (03) 9290 1812 Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations, (02) 6243 1108

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Release number: 
MR 238/98
ACCC Infocentre: 

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