A plain-English guide to a new part of the Trade Practices Act, Part IIIA which covers access to essential services, has been issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission*.

Part IIIA is a major new responsibility for the ACCC and involves the administrative and regulatory arrangements governing access to facilities, such as public utility infrastructure, which are necessary to the creation or promotion of competition in upstream or downstream markets.

"Part IIIA introduces a new field of regulatory responsibilities and access rights which will have significant impact on the provision of services that are critical to competition in related markets," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.

"The guide provides a 'user-friendly' explanation of the purpose and operation of Part IIIA, including the definitions and processes it contains and the rights and obligations it creates.

"The guide has been produced for the information of facility owners, users, government agencies and the public in general."

It is available from the Publications Officer, ACCC, PO Box 19, Belconnen, ACT at a cost of $10. It is also available from ACCC offices in all State capitals, Townsville and Tamworth.