Making an application

Following recommendations in the 1993 Hilmer Review, the Commonwealth Government introduced a national access regime for infrastructure services in 1995. The regime, set out at Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) (formerly the Trade Practices Act 1974), establishes a legal right for third parties to share the use of certain infrastructure services on reasonable terms and conditions. The regime is confined to the services of major infrastructure facilities where it would be uneconomic to develop another facility to provide the service and where access is needed to promote competition in another market. 

On 1 January 2011 the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA). The National Access Regime (refer to Access to Monopoly Infrastructure in Australia available below for download) previously set out in Part IIIA of the TPA is replicated in Part IIIA of the CCA (sections 29A to 44ZZR). Similarly Part IIA of the CCA which establishes the National Competition Council replicates Part IIA of the TPA. Within these parts of the CCA, section numbers correspond to those in the TPA.

Any applications lodged from 1 January 2011 will be under the CCA.

The Council will update the content of this website and its various guidelines in due course. Until this is done, references to the Trade Practices Act or TPA can be taken as references to the Competition and Consumer Act or CCA.

Part IIIA establishes three pathways for a party to seek access to an infrastructure service

  1. Through declaration which establishes a right for any party to negotiate terms and conditions of access with the service provider. If negotiations fail, declaration also gives an access seeker the right to seek binding arbitration by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

  2. By using an existing State or Territory access regime. Declaration is not available for infrastructure services that are already the subject of an effective State or Territory access regime. The question of effectiveness of a State or Territory access regime can be predetermined by applying for certification.  

  3. Under terms and conditions set out in a voluntary access undertaking approved by the ACCC.


Access to monopoly facilities

Access to Monopoly Infrastructure in Australia (PDF, 415KB)


State and Territory access regimes

National Gas Law

Gas pipeline coverage, classification and form of regulation