Energy industry cooperation authorised with strict conditions

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and participants in gas and electricity markets have been authorised to cooperate on measures to secure Australia’s energy supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authorisation granted by the ACCC today allows AEMO and energy industry participants to share essential personnel, essential inputs such as parts and equipment, and information about the operation of their facilities. They will also be permitted to co-ordinate repairs and maintenance.

Oil companies authorised to cooperate to secure fuel supplies during COVID-19

The Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) and major oil refiners have been granted authorisation by the ACCC to continue cooperating on measures to improve the security of fuel supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic continues to impact on Australia’s fuel supply chain, causing unpredictable changes in demand for fuel and creating a potential for major disruptions to the domestic and international fuel supply chains.

Supermarkets authorised to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response

Supermarket operators will be allowed to continue cooperating to ensure supply of food and groceries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under an ACCC authorisation granted today.

Coles, Woolworths, Metcash, Aldi, and other grocery retailers whose participation is approved by the ACCC will be allowed to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers.

ACCC authorises Australian Banking Association to coordinate COVID-19 relief measures

The ACCC has issued a determination granting conditional authorisation to enable Australian Banking Association member banks and third party suppliers or agents (where relevant) to enter into agreements for the purpose of providing relief to bank customers who are suffering hardship (including reduced levels of service or reduced access to banking services), or may suffer such hardship without that conduct, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government measures.

Appeals process needed in Solar Retailer Code

The ACCC is proposing to require inclusion of an appeals process in granting re-authorisation to the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct.

The Solar Code sets minimum standards for retailers selling solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems to consumers. To be an approved retailer, solar retailers must comply with standards covering advertising, contract documentation, finance and payments, design and installation, and complaints handling.

ACCC proposes to authorise cooperation to optimise NBN during the COVID-19 pandemic

The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to enable NBN Co and a group of retail communications services providers (the Special Working Group) to discuss, agree, and implement capacity optimisation strategies for the National Broadband Network, solely for the purpose of responding to the changes in demand on the network resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.