International regulation under the spotlight

12 October 1999
International experiences in regulatory issues in the telecommunications, energy and airport sectors will come under the spotlight at a major conference in Sydney next month.

The Incentive Regulation and Overseas Developments Conference will canvass overseas and Australian regulatory approaches as well as exploring specific industry issues.

"Firms are attempting to minimise their costs, regulators are attempting to ensure best practice regulation and consumers are demanding lower prices and high standards of service," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. "Incentive regulation brings in a regulatory scheme of incentives which maximise public benefit efficiencies, particularly in natural monopoly network industries such as some parts of telecommunications, gas and electricity.

"The public benefit efficiencies can include greater productivity, lower prices and better quality of service for consumers".

International speakers at the conference include Ms Clare Spottiswoode, from PA Consulting Group, Professor Sanford Berg, Public Utility Research Centre, University of Florida, Mr Sam Lovick, Director, London Economics and Dr Joseph Farrell, University of California.

"The themes of the conference will be highlighted by Ms Caroline Varley, Head of Energy Diversification Division, International Energy Agency, who will give the introductory address.

"The conference will discuss developments in best practice regulation including the changing face of United States regulation and incentive regulation in Britain and Australia," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. "It will also concentrate on specific industry issues such as promoting competition in gas supply through upstream reform; benchmarking and regulation in the electricity industry; unbundling the local loop in telecommunications and the experience of price caps in airport regulation."

"The conference is being presented by the ACCC in conjunction with the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University to heighten awareness on international developments in this important area. It will allow business, regulators, lawyers, economists, consumers representatives and industry participants to meet and discuss the issues they face in this challenging area".

The conference will be held on 18-19 November 1999 in Sydney. Registration details are available from Mr John Rothwell, ACCC, on (02) 6243 1136 or the ACCCC website: www.accc.gov.au. Conference papers will be published by the ACCC at a later date.
Release number: 
MR 193/99
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