This report was commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Energy as part of a review of the effectiveness of the current framework of economic regulation applying to gas pipelines. In Australia, some gas pipelines must submit their access terms to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and the AER has the authority to vary those terms, including price. Other pipelines, including several of the largest pipelines in Australia, are “uncovered” (or “non-scheme”) and have not been subject to economic regulation until relatively recently. Shippers seeking access to uncovered pipelines had no recourse if they were unable to negotiate acceptable access terms. Recent changes to the National Gas Rules (“Part 23”) now require uncovered pipeline operators to report certain financial and other information, and provide a system of binding arbitration if a shipper is unable to negotiate acceptable access terms. The goal of these changes is to enhance shippers’ ability to negotiate access terms, including by providing them with information on the historical financial performance of the pipelines.

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