Peter Costello

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Productivity Commission to Review the National Gas Pipelines Access Regime



The Treasurer, Peter Costello, and the Acting Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Joe Hockey, today announced that the Productivity Commission is to undertake a review of the National Third Party Access Code for Natural Gas Pipelines Systems. The Productivity Commission has been asked to report within twelve months.

"The Regime has now been in operation for 5 years, and it is appropriate to take stock of what it has achieved and whether its operation can be enhanced," Mr Costello said. "The review will also enable developments flowing from the recent review of the more general National Access Regime to be reflected in the gas sector's regulation."

The Gas Access Regime was developed jointly with the State and Territory Governments to establish the rights and obligations of pipeline operators and users in relation to third party access to natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. It applies to all pipelines that meet the coverage criteria.

"We have consulted with the States and Territories in formulating the Terms of Reference for the review, as the outcomes from the review may require implementation through State and Territory, as well as Commonwealth, legislation," Mr Hockey said.

"Furthermore, it is expected that the Ministerial Council on Energy would prepare a response to the report, in recognition of this joint responsibility."

The Treasurer also announced the appointment of Dr Michael Folie as an Associate Commissioner to the inquiry. Dr Folie is a senior businessman with a background in the oil and mining industries. "Dr Folie will bring extensive experience in providing high level policy analysis and advice to this inquiry," Mr Costello said.

The Productivity Commission will shortly release an issues paper and invite expressions of interest from anyone wanting to participate in the review. The Ministers encouraged all interested parties to make submissions to the Commission.

People who want to register their interest in the inquiry or obtain a copy of the terms of reference will find details on the Productivity Commission website at:

13 June 2003


Kirsty Boazman
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources' office
02 6277 7580
David Alexander
Treasurer's office
02 6277 7340


13 Jun 2003

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