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Joe Hockey

The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

21 October 1998 - 26 November 2001

Media Release of 15/11/99

NO. FSR/054


The Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, Joe Hockey, today certified the NSW Rail Access Regime, making it the first State rail access regime to be endorsed under national standards that promote competition.

"This decision marks the beginning of a new era for competition in rail, posing a challenge for other States to bring their regimes to a national standard, as NSW has done," the Minister said.

"Effective track access regimes allow private rail operators to use the track and compete for rail business.

"More rail competition results in a less costly, improved transport service and that means lower delivered prices for goods, including exports."

The NSW Rail Access Regime sets out a negotiation and dispute resolution framework for those seeking access to rail track. Importantly, access seekers include not only rail operators themselves but also, from a negotiation and competition point of view, customers with the capacity to manage rail operators.

The regime is administered under Section 44N of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Certification of an access regime provides increased certainty about the negotiation framework not only for access seekers but also for owners of infrastructure. This, in turn, provides a better investment climate.

Although the NSW Rail Access Regime has come a long way, the Minister noted that the national rail context is rapidly changing.

"To ensure that the NSW Regime meshes with the developing national regime and that NSW rail reforms bed in satisfactorily, the NSW rail regime has been certified until 31 December 2000."

15 November 1999 54/99
Media Contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister's office, 0413 076 21
Departmental contact: Mark Kristofferson, Treasury, 02 6263 2862

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