The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued its Final Approval for GasNet's proposed revised access arrangement for its Victorian natural gas transmission system. A Final Approval is an assessment of a service provider's revised access arrangement to determine whether it complies with the Gas Code and with the ACCC's Final Decision.
"GasNet did not comply with the ACCC's Final Decision in relation to the Victorian gas transmission system", ACCC Commissioner responsible for energy matters, Mr John Martin, said today. "If its proposed revisions were accepted, then its revenue would be higher than that indicated by Gas Code principles and this would be at the expense of consumers. The ACCC has concluded that GasNet's amended revised access arrangement does not comply with the Gas Code. Therefore, the ACCC has been required to draft and approve its own revised access arrangement".
The revised arrangement describes the terms and conditions on which GasNet will provide access to its natural gas transmission system and reference tariff that customers would be charged for these services for the period to 31 December 2007.
"In drafting its revised access arrangement, the ACCC has sought to maintain the revised access arrangement as proposed by GasNet as much as possible.
"The ACCC has made only those changes to the revised access arrangement which were required to comply with its Final Decision. The changes made by the ACCC relate directly to inputs to GasNet's benchmark revenues, and impact commensurately on the level of the reference tariff.
"The revised tariffs commence on 1 February 2003 and will contain an adjustment which is intended to ensure that neither GasNet nor users of the system will be disadvantaged as a result of the tariffs not commencing on 1 January 2003 as originally expected".
The ACCC's Final Approval is made under the National Third Party Access Code for Natural Gas Pipeline Systems.
"GasNet may seek review of this decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal under the terms of the Gas Pipelines Access Law. The Tribunal may determine different charges to those approved by the ACCC".
The Final Approval and revised access arrangement will be available from the ACCC's website.
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